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Walden and Civil Disobedience, Transcendental / from Walden, or Life in the Woods, walden and civil disobedience, From Walden, Henry Thoreau, Thoreau and Walden #1 - 4, Thoreau - Walden Pond, Walden, Walden, Walden, Henry David Thoreau
henry david thoreau
Terms in this set (216)
what did thoreau hope to do at walden? how might being there have helped him acheive his goal?
the essence of life; walden offered a simple life that helped him live intensely
why did thoreau leave walden? what might this suggest about him?
he had many other lives to live; wanted to get many more experiences in life
what did thoreau learn at walden?
truly believes if take time to make goals for self, can truly achieve
according to thoreau, what should people do about the complexity of their lives?
simplify life, cut out excessive things
what is thoreau's opinion of newspapers?
pointless because one know principle of thing, why look at different instances and get emotionally attached
what is the metaphor thoreau uses to describe time?
time is the river i go fishing in
according to thoreau, how can people achieve true success?
if one advances confidently in direction of his dreams and endeavors to live life which he has imagined
what should one do with castles built in the air?
build foundations under them
Describe Thoreau's life like when he wrote Walden (Life in the Woods)
* lived alone in the woods
* a mile from neighbors on the shore of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts
* living earned through labor
* lived there for 2 years, and 2 months
Why does Thoreau recount these objections and questions concerning his "impertinent" lifestyle?
He is aware of criticism he faces about the way he lived, but he still wanted to address questions
What does Thoreau mean when he says it is "always the first person" who speaks?
All writers express their own points of view, even though they may not have written it in the first person viewpoint.
To what does Thoraeu compare taking down the small cottage?
to the destruction of the great ancient city of Troy.
When Thoraeu compares taking down the cottage to the destruction of the great city of Troy, what rhetorical device is being used?
How did Thoreau pick the specific location that he dug in his cellar?
He choose to dig where a woodchuck had formerly dug.
How does Thoreau's choice to dig in the same location as the woodchuck relate to the idea of a divine/universal soul?
His inspiration is from nature, (animal - woodchuck) and illustrates his being in touch with the universe. Like animals he has a need to survive.
To what does Thoreau compare a man's building a house to?
A bird building a nest. He connects to nature and the universal soul through his daily experiences at Walden.
Describe Thoreau's house
* shingled and plastered
* 10 feet wide and 15 feet long, with eight foot posts
* garret and a closet
* large window on each side
* 2 trap doors, 1 at the end
* brick fireplace
A man using his hands to provide food and shelter for his family is a _______ and ______ life that is similar to birds singing.
simple and honest
Explain Thoreau's purpose for living in Walden.
* to live deliberately
* only the essential facts of life
* to see if he could learn, what life had to teach
* when he came to die, he discovered he had not lived
* to live deep and suck out all marrow of life
* to live sturdily and Spartan-like
In "Where I Lived, and What I Lived for" what does he state most men have concluded?
- Men are uncertain about life
- uncertain whether it is good or evil
- hastily conclude that the main (chief) purpose in life is to glorify God forever
How does what most men concluded about life, compare to Walden's purpose in life?
Thoreau looked for the meaning of life through his OWN experiences and not merely coming to someone elses conclusion or life wisdom from others.
What allusion and analogy does Thoreau make in the second paragraph of this section? **
Compares human ants, it is a mythological allusion when he states Zeus changed ants into men.
Men scurry about like _____ keeping busy at task without considering whether or not they are worthwhile or purposeful.
Lives are frittered away by detail. What does Thoreau call for?
What does Thoraeu call for?
Simplicity. To keep affairs at a minimum rather than focusing on so many things.
What was Thoreau's favorite time at Walden?
during the long rainstorms in the spring or fall
Thoreau was soothed by the ceasless roar and pelting of ________ , in which many thoughts had time to take root and unfold themselves.
rain. during this time many thoughts had time to take root and unfold in his mind.
How did Thoreau not feel solitary and lonesome during those long times?
Because he was surrounded by nature and stars, therefore he was not alone. because we coexist therefore we are not alone.
Explain Thoreau's allusion to Antaeus.
Mythological allusion - Thoreau gets his strength from the earth when growing beans, as does Anteaus the giant gets his strength from his mother, earth.
How does Thoreau's comparison to fighting ants (pg 240 - 241) relate to Transcendential characteristics?
they believed they were fighting for some principle or need (a side from a wood chip) and not something pretty (like a three penny tax on tea).
What is the purpose of Thoreau's description of the loon?
metaphor about the relationship between people and nature or between people and the elusive meaning of their own existence
"It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route and make a beaten track for ourselves". Explain quote.
* without paying attention we follow the path of another and do the same things over and over
* create habits and conform to others ways.
Although 5-6 years have passed, what does Thoreau notice? What is he saying about human nature?
he is refering to a path from his door to the pond which still exists 5-6 years after leaving, he believes others have followed this path since his departure.
Not only do we physically follow paths, we do mentally with our thoughts and ideas
we fall into ruts of tradition and conformity
What does "going before the mast" mean in this poem?
working on a ship to pay for one's passage
what does "going below" mean in this writing?
taking a passive role as a passenger rather than an active role as a sailor
"I do not wish to take a cabin pasage, but go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to "go below now" What is the meaning of this quote?
he wants to have an active role in his life and see everything there is to see (specifically nature), rather than go below and miss it.
Describe the lesson Thoreau learned.
* to follow your dreams and live life to the fullest with confidence
* by doing things in life or playing an active role you will find success and move beyond your limitations
* By actively living you will find truth and purpose in life
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree or an oak....." Explain the meaning of this quote
* Any person can discover their unique way of living life to the fullest, but we must recognize that it is different for everyone
* we can't expect every person to experience life the same, nor should we be expected to conform to their views.
Study Characteristics on handout
5 total - name examples in Walden, Life in the woods
why does Thoreau want to live at Walden pond?
to live simply & see what he could do without
what does Thoreau mean when he writes of visiting a neighbor, and says he would have been better off to have visited a man who lived in a hollow tree?
the other men were rich and couldn't have a real conversation
what does Thoreau mean by the statement, "our life is frittered away by detail"?
we pay too much attention to detail
in Walden, does Thoreau tell how difficult it is to live in the woods, or how joyous?
what are some advantages, according to Thoreau, of living in poverty?
appreciating simple things and nature
what does Thoreau mean when he says that if you simplify your life, the world around you will seem less complicated?
if you care just about yourself and not worry about others, the world is simple
what is the allusion Thoreau refers to in his statement, "..if there were bestowed on is the wealth of Croesus, our aims must still be the same..."?
even if we have money, stay simple
When Thoreau says, "We do not ride on the railroad, it rides upon us," what does he mean?
we depend on technology
other than to live simply, what was Thoreau's purpose for going to live in the woods?
learn the true essentials
what did thoreau learn from his experience at walden?
to guard against conformity
how does thoreau suggest that one can "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"?
simplify your life
what is thoreaus allusion to a "spartanlike" way of life meant to suggest?
no luxury, just living with bare essentials
in civil disobedience, what "crime"does thoreau commit? why does he do it?
not paying taxes,and he doesnt want to support the war
choose one word to explain Thoreaus philosophy of life?
if you offered thoreau fame, love, truth, or money which would he choose?
how does Thoreau get out of jail> how does he feel about being released?
his aunt payed his taxes, he was angry
in Civil Disobedience, what is thoreau describing his protest against?
taxes and supporting the war
what is "a majority of one," according to thoreau?
one person against everyone
what belief about government does thoreau express?
government should respect individuals
what is Thoreau's main idea in "civil disobedience"?
one person can make a difference
Attitude of the writer
A short statement that uses figurative language to make one statement.
What kind of Lives do most people lead?
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation
What does Thoreau call resignation?
"Their lives have been such miserable failures" Thoreau dismisses the idea that old people have no good advice for the young.
Does Thoreau believe in the wisdom of old age? Why or why not?
No the old have no advice to give to the young
Why does Thoreau buy the shanty?
For boards to build his own house. (old shack) wanted the boards to build his house.
Why is the cellar so important to Thoreau?
It holds root vegetables. The basement lasts longer than the house itself.
How does Thoreau view each morning?
He thinks its the most memorable part of the day. He viewed it as a new chance to live as simply as nature.
Why does Thoreau go to live in the woods?
"To front only the essential facts of life and see if he could learn what it had to teach".
How does Thoreau describe American Life
Life is too busy, too complicated, and people are absorbed in by doing and getting things.
Why does Thoreau leave the woods?
"He had several more lives to live, and couldnt spare anymore time for that one".
What does Thoreau think of the person who acts differently from all others?
If people are different its because they hear a different drummer. That person maybe hearing "a different drummer" and follow that music, no matter what the sound.
In Thoreau's view, what kind of lives do most people live?
They lead lives of quiet desperation.
The first sentence of this excerpt from Walden is a well-known aphorism, or statement commenting on life.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation."
Explain what Thoreau means by it.
Most people are unhappy much of the time
Recall what Thoreau says will happen when individuals begin to simplify their lives (paragraph 14).
I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundry; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less ocmplex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weaknes weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work needs to be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. (Henry David Thoreau)
The laws of the universe will become less complex.
Thoreau urges readers to simplify there lives. Is his advice easier or more difficult to follow today than it was in Thoreau's time? Explain
Its easier to live with technology because we can do more things with the technology today.
Why did Thoreau go to the woods?
To focus on the essentials of living and learn from experience
Why did he leave the woods?
He had other lives to lead
Compare and contrast the two reasons.
He wanted to learn from life. Going to the woods was specific. Leaving the woods was more than ended.
If a person "hears a different drummer", what does Thoreau say he or she should do?
The person should step to the music they hear (be unique).
Indentify the "highest of arts" (paragraph 9), according to Thoreau.
"affect the quality of the day or influence the world around us.
What is Thoreau's primary purpose in Walden?
He is trying to persuade readers to live a simple life.
What other secondary purposes does he have?
To narrarate his life in the woods and describe what he saw their
What is the overall tone of the essay?
Hostile, impatient, or desperation at the way people are in a hurry conducting their lives.
Does the tone of this essay fit its content? Explain.
The tone fits because it convinces people to lead more thoughtful lives.
Does any textual evidence that shows transcendental ideas (over-soul nature) within the work.
1. The transcendentalists were non conformists.
a. Thoreau believes its ok to "beat to a different drummer".
2. Thoreau built the home by himself. Therefore self sufficient.
What does Thoreau imagine doing?
Thoreau imagines buying all the farms within a dozen miles of his current residence.
(A) Why does Thoreau go to live in the woods?
Thoreau goes to live in the woods because he wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and learn what they had to teach and to discover if he had really lived.
(B) Why does he eventually leave?
The reason he decides to leave is he felt as he had several more lives to live and could not waste any more time.
What does he learn from his "experiment"?
What he learns from his experiment is if you advance with confidence in the direction of your dreams, and live the life you dream of.
What advice does Thoreau offer to those who live in poverty?
The advice that Thoreau offers to those who live in poverty is love your life and money is not the answer to live.
Where is Walden Pond?
In what areas of life had Thoreau been a failure?
On test it says I think he was failure as a schoolteacher
-Impressive Harvard education
-Friendships of brilliant+successful people
What was a major problem of Thoreau
Hard to get along with
What did Hawthorne write about Thoreau?
Thoreau was very unpleasant to be around but has great qualities of intellect+character
What did Emerson claim to be Thoreau's largest fault?
That he had no ambition
Where and when was Thoreau born?
Concord, Massachusetts in 1817
What was Thoreau like as a student
-Never ranked higher than middle of his class
-However, he was veryy well-read
The experiment @ Walden Pond was an attempt to...
Rediscover he grandeur of a simple life led close to nature
What did Thoreau see when the looked at his fellow citizens
Said they'd become one dimensional+lead lives of quiet desperation
What did "they lead lives of quiet desperation" mean?
The men didn't do exactly what they wanted but never said anything about it
Why did Thoreau refuse to pay his poll tax?
As a protest against the Mexican war (Idk if you have to know this..)
What did Thoreau do in the early 1850s?
Helped fugitives escaping slavery make their way to Canada (idk if u have to know this)
How long was Thoreau at Walden?
A little more than 2 years
Where did Thoreau go after Walden?
He moved back into Emerson's house
Why did Thoreau move to Walden?
Bc he wanted to find out what life really is
From where did Thoreau draw his metaphors
Nature+simple, everyday things that he and his audience are familiar with
Why did Thoreau go to the woods
Wanted to live life deliberately, to front the essential facts of life. Didn't want to die only to discover he hadn't lived
What did Thoreau claim people are in a "strange uncertainty" about?
Whether life is of the devil or god
What did Thoreau mean by saying we need simplicity
Our life is fritted away by detail
What metaphor does Thoreau use to describe life
He says civilized life is like a chopping sea (just drags you along and you have no control)
What does Thoreau claim is remarkable
How easily+insensibly we fall into a particular route+make a beaten track for ourselves
What does Thoreau claim the surface of the earth is like? What does he compare it to?
Says it's soft+impressible by the feet of men. Compares it too surface of highways
What did Thoreau learn from his experiment at Walden
You can/will be more successful than you had ever imagined
What metaphor does Thoreau use to describe dreams?
Compares them to built castles in the air. He says to put a foundation under the castles to make them real
What does Thoreau say people say about Americans
Americans are intellectual dwarfs compared w the ancients.
What does Thoreau mean "living dog is better than a dead lion"
Americans are the living dogs+the ancients are the lions. The ancients may have been really great but they're dead so they're useless. Americans are living
What reason does Thoreau give for some people not "keeping pace w their companions"
Some people may "hear a different drummer" (they do things their own way
According to video, Walden on the surface is...
A written account of Thoreau's daily activities+observations
On a deeper level, Walden is...
A spiritual journey in search of the self
Why does 1 critic believe Walden is especially relevant for young people
Young people have yet to establish themselves+find their place in the world
During which historical events did Thoreau live+write
-approaching Civil War (not sure if u have to know this)
Concord, MA is credited w being the home of what period in literary history?
The American Renaissance
Who owned the land where Thoreau carried out his experiment
What did Thoreau believe about reform?
Reform starts w the self. You reform people one at a time, not all at one
What was one purpose of the Thoreau Institute
Preserving Thoreau's writings
What is "voluntary simplicity"?
Getting rid of and not living with clutter
How long did Thoreau spend writing Walden?
What is part of Thoreau's legacy?
-Land conservation/reserving parks
-idea that civilization needs wilderness
Rails and cars
Rails laid over the ties (men) are "progress". People riding on rails are "cars" and they are those who benefit from progress. The ties are people who don't
What happens when a railroad tie (man) sticks out?
Huge problem, stop train and put tie back where it belongs, lot of trouble to do this. It's good bc it's like man is revolting and it takes a lot of work to quiet him
Message from railroad tie metaphor
Thoreau is glad that not everyone conforms
who wrote walden pond?
Henry David Thoreau
The cabin was..
unfinished when he moved in
Where was the cabin?
on the shore of Walden Pond & was 1 and a half miles south of concord
HDT finds morning the most:
"the most memorable season of the day"
When do all memorable events transpire?
in the morning time; "to be awake is to be alive"
Why did HDT go to live in the woods?
because he wanted to live deliberately & to leardn from the ssential facts of life
HDT beleives that our lives are consumed by:
detail & that we need to "simplify, simplify, simplify"
What does HDT think are a waste of time?
the post office & newspaper
What does HDT witness a battle against
red and black ants
what does HDT beleive about the red & black ants battle?
that their battle is similar to war among people
Why do you think Thoreau singles out individual groups of readers as he begins his first essay?
Because he wants to answer specific questions that they ask.
What does Thoreau mean when he says that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation?" Is that still true today?
"What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things" (6).
What does Thoreau's story about the Indian basket weaver illustrate about his views on capitalism?
"I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them" (17).
What does Thoreau mean by saying "I am sure there is a greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and un patched clothes, than to have a sound conscience"?
"Most behave as if they believe that their prospects for life would be ruined if they should have a patch or flaw" (19).
Thoreau says it is an interesting question "how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes". Why do people need to tell others their rank simply by their clothes? Do ideas such as wearing uniforms help curtail some of this snobbery?
When someone is wealthy they usually have really nice and expensive clothes because they can afford it. But if you are poor, one tends to use their money for more important necessities such as food.
Yes when people wear uniforms they are bonded and equal.
What is Thoreau's opinion of the manner in which American people approach home ownership versus renting?
"You could sit up as late as you pleased, and whenever you got up, go abroad without any landlord or house lord dogging you for rent" (26).
Thoreau asks, "Would the savage be wise to exchange his wigwam for a palace on these terms?" What do you think his answer might be?
I think Thoreau would say "If we suppose him to pay a rent instead, this is but a doubtful choice of evils" (28).
Why does Thoreau say, to a painter, that the most interesting dwellings are the homes of the common poor rather than the greater architectural feats?
"But a man as no more to do with the style of architecture of his house than a tortoise with that of its shell" (43).
Explain what Thoreau means by the following statement "The student who secures his coveted leisure and retirement by systematically shirking any labor necessary to man obtains but an ignoble and unprofitable leisure, defrauding himself of the experience which alone can make leisure fruitful".
"I mean that they should play life, or study it merely while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end" (47).
Explain Thoreau's philosophy on farming as expressed in his sentence, "I believe that [I did] better than any farmer in Concord did that year".
"All things considered, that is, considering the importance of a man's soul and of today not withstand the start time occupied by my experiment, nay, partly even because of its transient character, I believe that that was doing better than any farmer in Concord did that year" (51).
Why did Thoreau react harshly when his young acquaintance wants to live life as he does?
"I desire to speak impartially on this point, and as one not interested in the success or failure of the present economical and social arrangements" (51).
How does Thoreau obtain his furniture?
"My furniture part of which I made myself, and the rest cost me nothing of which I have not rendered on account, consisted of a bed, a desk, three chairs, and etc" (60).
During the previous five years, how did Thoreau support himself?
"For more than five years I maintained myself solely by the labor of my hands, and I found, that by working about six weeks in a year, I could meet all the expenses of living. The whole of my winters, as well as most summers, I had free and clear for study" (64).
How does Thoreau feel about philanthropy and why does he choose not to participate in it?
"I have made some sacrifices to a sense of duty, and among other have sacrificed this pleasure also. However, when I have thought to indulge myself in this respect, and lay their Heaven under an obligation by maintaining certain poor persons in all respects as comfortably as I maintain myself" (67).
How do Thoreau's expectations of morning echo his expectations of his life in general?
"Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity" (83).
The crux of this book is explained in the following passage: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately... And to see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived". Why do you think Thoreau believes that living in nature is the only way to truly "live"?
"I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan- like as to put to rout all that was not life"(85).
List some of the allusions from the chapter.
"I looked out on the pond, it impressed me like a tarn high up on the of a mountain" (81).
What according to Thoreau, is the difference between the orator and the writer?
"The orator yields to the inspiration of a transient occasion, and speaks to the mob before him, to those who can hear him, but the writer, whose more equable life is his occasion, and who would be distracted by the event and the crowd which inspire the orator, speaks to the intellect and heart of mankind, to all in any age who can understand him" (97).
Thoreau shows a somewhat elitist attitude of intellectual snobbery in this passage when he describes how few of his fellow New Englanders read great works. From where do you think his arrogance and dismay come?
"I aspire to be acquainted with wise men than this our Concord soil has produced, whose names are hardly known here"(101).
HE LOVES BOOKS!
What does Thoreau regard as his utopia world, with respect to reading and books?
"But it is thought Utopian to propose spending money for things which more intelligent men know to be of far more worth" (103).
What does Thoreau mean when he says he has had the advantage of a simple life over those who have had to "look abroad" for amusement?
"I had this advantage, at least in my mode of life, over those who were obliged to look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre, that my life itself was become my amusement and never ceased to be novel" (106).
How does Thoreau feel about the railroad?
"The whistle of the locomotive penetrates my woods summer and winter, sounding like the scream of a hawk sailing over some farmer's yard" (109). "I see these men everyday go about their business with more or less courage and content, doing more even then they could have consciously devised" (112).
How does Thoreau's description of the various forest and country animals reflect his feelings about the natural world?
"I feel more like a citizen of the world at the sight of the palm- leaf which cover so many flaxen New England heads the next summer" (113).
How does Thoreau feel about being alone?
"I have as it were, my own sun and moon and stars, and a little world all to myself" (123).
How do you think Thoreau's understanding of loneliness differs from the commonly understood definition?
"I have never felt lonesome, or in the least oppressed by a sense of solitude, but once, and that was a few weeks after I came to the woods, when for an hour, I doubted if the the near neighborhood of man was not essential to a serene and healthy life" (124).
What does Thoreau compare to morning air?
"Instead of one of this quack vials of a mixture dipped from Acheron and the Dead Sea, which come out of those long shallow black-schooner looking wagons which we sometimes see made to carry bottles, let me have a draught of I diluted morning air" (131).
What type of host does Thoreau seem to be to his guest?
"Always ready for company" (133).
What does Thoreau like about the Canadian woodchopper who visits him?
"He interested me because he was so quiet and solitary and so happy withal, a well of good humor and contentment which overflowed at his eyes" (138).
What is interesting about the way the Canadian answers questions?
"He was so simple and humble" (139).
"To a stranger he appeared to know nothing of things in general, yet I saw in him a man whom I had not seen before, and I did not know whether he was as wise as Shakespeare or as simple as ignorant as a child" (140).
How does Thoreau feel about most of his visitors?
"There were very curious specimens among my visitors" (142).
"I found some of then to be wider then the so called overseers" (142).
"I could not notice some of the peculiarities of my visitors" (144).
How does Thoreau feel about the physical labor of hoeing beans?
"They attached me to the earth, and so I got strength like Antaeus" (147).
What analogy does Thoreau make to planting his bean seeds and working hard his first summer?
"But in the course of the summer it appeared by the arrow-heads which I turned up in hoeing, that an extinct nation had anciently dwelt here and planted corn and beats ere white men came to clear the land, and so, to some extent, had exhausted the soil for this very crop" (147).
How does Thoreau regard getting lost in the woods?
"I have thought that perhaps my body would find its way home if it's master should forsake it" (161).
"It is surprising and memorable, as well as valuable experience, to be lost in the woods any time" (161).
How does he feel about the advertising in the village?
"Signs were hung out on all sides to allure him, some to catch him by appetite, some were fancy" (159).
Was personal safety a concern in Thoreau's time, as it is today?
Not really. People went through there day as if nothing in the world could really hurt them
Thoreau describes the color of water in a manner which is different from most people's perception. How does he describe it?
"All our Concord waters have two colors at least, one when viewed at a distance, and another, more proper, close at hand. The first depends more on the light, and follows the sky" (167).
Explain the extended metaphor Thoreau uses to describe Walden Pond.
"Perhaps on that spring morning when Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden, Walden Pond was already in existence" (170).
"Obtained a patent of heaven to be the only Walden Pond in the world" (170).
When Thoreau speaks of his days as a boy visiting Walden Pond, does he seem to regret his time there?
"Many a forenoon have I stolen away, preferring to spend thus the most valued part of the day, for I was rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days, and spent them lavishly, nor do I regret that I did not waste more of them in the workshop or teacher's desk" (181).
Toward the end of his essay "The Ponds", Thoreau seems to become disgusted with humankind for something. What is it?
"Many men have been likened to it, but few deserve that honor" (182).
"What right had the unclean and stupid farmer, whose farm abutted on this sky water, whose shores he has ruthlessly laid bare, to give his name to it?" (184).
After speaking to the Irish immigrant, what does Thoreau say about the immigrant's choice of work? How many people still behave like this Irishman today?
"He worked "bogging" for a neighboring farmer, turning up a meadow with a spade or bog hoe at the rate of ten dollars an acre and the use of the land with manure for one year" (192).
How does Thoreau compare the life of "ordinary" men to himself?
"Men come tamely home at night only from the next field or street, where their household echoes haunt, and their life pines because it breathes it own breath over again"(196).
How does Thoreau describe his "higher law"?
"The governor and his council faintly remember the pond, for they went a- fishing there when they were boys, but now they are too old and dignified to go a- fishing, and so they no it more forever" (200).
What is the difference between English boys and the "Yankees"?
"They mistake who assert that the Yankee had few amusements, because he had not so many public holidays, and men and boys do not play so many games as they do in England, for here the more primitive but solitary amusements of hunting, fishing and the like have not yet given place to the former" (198).
Thoreau uses a very interesting analogy of worms within a healthy person's body to describe the fallen nature of man. What does he say about the fallen nature of man?
"The gross feeder is a man in the larva state, and there are whole nations in that condition, nations without fancy or imagination, whose vast abdomens betray them" (202).
"It is reptile and sensual, and perhaps cannot be wholly expelled, like the worms which, even in life and health, occupy our bodies" (205).
What happens to John Farmer as he sits on his porch?
"He had not attended to the train of his thoughts long when he heard someone playing on a flute, and that sound harmonized with his mood" (209).
Which "brute neighbors" are Thoreau's subject in this essay?
"How now, Hermit, is it too soon?" (212).
Of what is Thoreau speaking when he describes the battlefield? What literary term is used?
"It was the only battle which I have ever witnessed, the only battlefield I ever trod while the battle was raging, internecine war, the red republicans on the one hand, and the black imperialist on the other hand" (215).
How does Thoreau feel about the various animals he observes in nature?
"A phoebe soon built in my shed, and a robin for protection in a pond which grew near my house" (213).
"It is remarkable how many creatures live wild and free through secret in the woods" (214).
What is Thoreau's view of being a house guest?
He calls the houseguests WASPS.
" I swept some of them out, but I did not trouble myself much to get rid of them, I even felt complimented by their regarding my house as desirable shelter" (226).
What is Thoreau's view of working men, as mentioned when he describes the art of plastering?
"Should not every apartment in which men dwells be lofty enough to create some obscurity over-head, where flickering shadows may play at evening about the rafters?" (228).
What does Thoreau's description of the ice at the bottom of the pond suggest about his personality?
"The first ice is especially interesting and perfect, being hard, dark, and transparent, and affords the best opportunity that ever offers for examining the bottom where it is shallow" (231).
Why does Thoreau say that the value of wood is more universal than gold?
"If they made their bows of it, we make our gun-stocks of it" (236).
"It is now many years that men have resorted to the forest for fuel and the materials of the arts" (236).
Do you agree with Thoreau's statement that "you can always find a face in the fire"?
"The stove not only took up room and scented the house, but it concealed the fire, and I felt as if I had lost a companion" (239).
Why does Thoreau spend time discussing the former inhabitants of Walden Pond?
"Within the memory of many of my townsmen the road near my house stands resounded with the the laugh and gossip of inhabitants" (241).
How is Thoreau's human side shown in the story of finding a man whose family cabin had been burned in a prank?
"He was soothed by the sympathy which my mere presence implied" (245).
As Thoreau finished his section on former inhabitants, what conclusion can we draw about his feelings towards the people that have lived in Walden?
He thought they were very interesting people and he really cared for them.
What does Thoreau mean when he says you cannot "deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love"?
He means that a poet loves his job too much to quit.
" A farmer, a hunter, a soldier, a reporter, even a philosopher may be daunted, but nothing can deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love" (252).
Does Thoreau dispute William Gilpin's theory about Loch Fyne in Scotland?
"William Gilpin, who is so admirable in all that relates to landscapes, and usually so correct" (269).
How does Thoreau figure out mathematically the point that is most likely to be the deepest in the ponds surrounding him?
"In the deepest part there are several acres more level than most field which is exposed to the sun, wind, and plough" (270).
"The greatest depth was apparently the centre of map" (271).
What does Thoreau mean when he asks "Why is it that a bucket of water soon becomes putrid, but frozen remains sweet forever? It is commonly said that this is the difference between the affections and the intellect?"
"They told me that they had some in the ice- house at Fresh pong five years old which was as good as ever" (278).
What is Thoreau referring to when he writes about the "grotesque vegetation"?
"It is a truly grotesque vegetation, whose forms and color we see imitated bronze, a sort of architectural foliage more ancient and typical than any vegetable leaves" (285).
What are some of the examples that Thoreau gives of the everyday metamorphoses that occur on a daily basis in front of our eyes?
"If you look closely and observe that first there pushes forward from the thawing mass a stream of softened sand with a drop-like point" (287).
"It is wonderful how rapidly yet perfectly the sand organizes itself as it flows" (287).
What does Thoreau mean when he says that, "the Maker of this earth but patented a leaf"?
"Thus if seemed that this one hillside illustrated the principle of all the operations of Nature" (288).
What would happen to village life if the woods around it ceased to exist?
"Our village life would stagnate (not moving) if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it. We need the tonic of wilderness" (297).
"We need to witness our own limits transgressed" (297).
What does Thoreau say about Mirabeau's defense of highway robbery that "honor and religion have never stood in the way of a well-conditioned and a firm resolve"?
"It is said that Mirabeau took to highway robbery "to ascertain what degree of resolution was necessary in order to place one's self in formal opposition to the most sacred laws of society" "(302).
"This was manly, as the world goes, and yet it was idle, if not desperate" (302).
Thoreau makes an interesting point when confronted with the opinion that ancient men were more intelligent than contemporary American men. He says that while this may be true, "a living dog is better than a dead lion". He goes on to say that people should try to be all that they can be, regardless of whether they can ever live up to the success of others who came before them. Do you agree?
"Let every one mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made" (305).
Thoreau makes another point: embrace your life, and do not wish you were richer, but make do with what you have. He says, "Most think they are above being supported by the town, but it oftener happens that they are not above supporting themselves by dishonest means, which should be more disreputable". Do you know any people like this? Would you agree with Thoreau on this point?
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer" (305).
"However mean your life is, meet it and live it, do not shun it and call it hard names" (307).
What does Thoreau say about the dinner party he attends where he goes away hungry?
"I was at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board" (309).
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone"
People should measure their wealth by how much they can live without not what they have.
"If you are restricted in your range by poverty, if you cannot buy books and newspapers, for instance, you are but confined to the most significant and vital experiences; you are compelled to deal with the material which yields the most sugar and the most starch. It is life near the bone where it is sweetest"
When you live life without extras it us a great life.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived... I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow out of life"
Live life deliberately and do what matters.
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer"
Be whoever you are dont change.
"Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce, and export ice, and talk through a telegraph, and ride thirty miles an hour, without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men, is a little uncertain"
Men are too occupied worrying about if they can when they should be worried about if they should.
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