The Walden’s Book Report

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It is apparent with Thoreau’s desire to live in solitude for over two years to conduct an experiment on self-reliance, that his ideas on what can be a fulfilling life, or what the necessities of life are, were especially different than the other residents of Concord, as many did not understand why he would do such a thing. One of the main themes of Walden that is explored in the book through Thoreau’s experiences is the idea of self-reliance, of being able to sustain one’s own life only by the work they put in for themselves.

In the beginning of the novel, Thoreau details how he built his house, where his materials came from, what food he was able to harvest for himself or catch, and how much everything cost in order for him sustain his life in solitude. He goes on to stress the importance of self-reliance even in ways other than those that are economic, specially the idea of individualism. Thoreau spends a good amount of time emphasizing how essential it is to act on one’s own accord, to do things that are best for oneself, not because it is what someone else or the rest of society expects from you. Using Thoreau as an example, he lives in solitude at Walden Pond so that he can focus on the actual, simpler necessities of life, to be one with nature, rather than rely on technological advances, than care about his appearance in the eyes of others, or other materialistic things. This connects to one of the other important themes and ideals for Thoreau in this novel, that being simplicity.

Thoreau talks a lot about the desires of humans and how it seems so unnecessarily vital for other people to possess more, to desire more, to appear acceptable in the eyes of others. In his eyes, people should go in the opposite direction, decrease their desires, reduce their possessions because none of it is actually a necessity to life. He considers simplicity to be advantageous, contrary to the popular belief, that the more possessions one has is considered to be advantageous. Thoreau details the difference between himself and his years spent at Walden Pond and those who live in Concord, specifically in terms of the differences in lifestyle, arguing that a life of simplicity does not mean that he lives a lesser life, or that it inhibits his ability to enjoy the pleasures of life.

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The Walden's Book Report. (2019, Mar 13). Retrieved from

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