Thoreau's philosophy of life- PDF by Helen A. Dickinson

Thoreau's philosophy of life

Thoreau's philosophy of life
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was born at Concord, Massachusetts, on the i2th of July 1817, and with the exception of a few years which the family spent in Chelmsford and Boston, he passed there his childhood and youth up to the time of entering college in 1833. 

At Harvard, he does not seem to have distinguished himself in his studies or to have obtained very high standing in his classes. So much time did he devote to outside, general, classical reading, so little did he work to the satisfaction of his professors that he obtained only about half of the bursary which would otherwise have been given him out of the fund for the assistance of poor students.

 His essays, however, excited considerable comment and were the means of his becoming acquainted with Emerson. Shortly after his graduation, he, with his brother, founded a private school in Concord, and as Emerson was then residing in that village, their friendship became strong and intimate. Emerson and Margaret Fuller were joint editors of the " Dial," a magazine on much the same plan as the German " Horen," and to which almost all the better talent of the United States contributed. 

Thoreau was invited to write for it and consented. His first published paper, " Aulus Perseus Flaccus," appeared in it in 1840, and he was a regular, though unpaid, contributor until it suspended publication in 1844. But the private school did not pay expenses, so in 1843 the brothers abandoned it, and Henry went to Staten Island as tutor to the sons of Mr William Emerson. 

He seems to have done so unwillingly however and to have felt that he could only find his true life in withdrawing from a life of mean cares and constant anxiety concerning the merely physical and temporal. He expressed his dissatisfaction in a letter to his friend Ellery Channing, who replied: " I see nothing for you on this earth but that field which I once christened " Briars;" go out upon that, build yourself a hut, and then begin the process of devouring yourself alive." 

The next year, 1844, Thoreau resigned from his position and returned to Concord. "I have thoroughly tried school-keeping," he writes, "but was obliged to dress and train, not to say think and believe accordingly, and I lost my time into the bargain." In i84\he retired to Walden Woods, where he built himself with his own hands a hut on the shore of the pond. Wonderful stories, resembling those told of St. Francis of Assisi, are told of his intimacy with the wild animals in the wood: 

the book details :
  • Author: Helen A. Dickinson
  • Henry David Thoreau was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, he is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience", an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.

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