Henry david thoreau why i went to the woods essay sample

In the book Walden’s: where I lived and what I lived for, which was published in the 1845, Henry David Thoreau describes why he opted to go to the woods. This is a selection which is about a man’s attempts to find his own principles that would enable him to live a better life than which was being lived by other people. Thoreau was an American philosopher, poet and writer. In this selection, Thoreau is the main character whom the literature focuses on especially with regard to his life in concord, Massachusetts. He used to work at his family’s pencil factory before he left for the woods where he built himself a small hut on a second-growth forest in near the Walden Shores.
According to Thoreau’s personality, he appears to be a man who largely practices self-reliance and individualism which he portrays as the themes of all his other books such as the Civil Disobedience and the Life without Principles. He argues that, people normally live in a series of reactions to various events and forces outside them. He terms these reactions as not “ truly living” but mere survival. People will engage themselves in acts of simple survival with the thought that they will get their chance to actually do better and start living tomorrow. In his two years at the Walden Pond, Thoreau, wrote his famous book Walden which is best known for its popular quote:
“ 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.”
Understandably, Thoreau wanted to get the best out of his life, largely by determining what was really valuable in his life. To achieve this self-fulfillment state, Thoreau removed himself from the normal life of Concord Massachusetts. He desired to live his own life instead of finding out later that indeed, it had lived in him. Through his experiment in the woods, Thoreau confirmed that a deliberately lived life is possible.
The major reason that lead Thoreau to consider shifting to the woods was the fact that many factors that controlled Concord and other parts of the world was making life hard for no reason. He argued that, one of the reason for this move was due to the economic pressure imparted on the people: he therefore reduced his material needs by starting to live simply. For this reason, he would not strain himself looking for finances to support a lifestyle that he could live without. In this book he detest the notion of spending the biggest part of one’s life trying to make money so that they can enjoy the unguaranteed liberty in the future. To further explain why people should live non complicated lives that are not dictated social forces and tough economic events, he gave the story of an Englishman who decided to go to India to first make a fortune so that he can later return to England and begin his life as a poet. He argues that the Englishman would have initially gone up garret.
This selection is very interesting to me and I really enjoyed reading it. It gives a totally different view of how own should live life. Although the setting of the book is in the mid-19th century, the concepts that Thoreau teaches are still applicable in our current times. Just like the culture that existed in Thoreau’s era, our culture also has succeeded in placing a lot of stress in the money aspect of living. In the end of life, after getting an education and acquiring all the skills, we trade all our skills for money. True to his words, Thoreau greatly enjoyed the life he was living and he spent more than two years in his cabin inside the woods where he did what he liked most; writing and by the time he was leaving the woods, he had already made great strides in his writing career.
Thoreau inspired my dad who always enjoyed reading his literal works. Therefore, I have a close relationship with this selection since his teachings are rare and applicable in real life. In fact, it saved my dad from spending his whole life as an accountant. He stopped what he was doing and embarked on started to work on the things that really gave his life a better taste. And true to Thoreau’s teaching’s, living deliberately will not necessarily make a person rich in the context that most people perceive richness to be, since deliberate living is aimed at giving more valuable reward. In his eulogy to Thoreau, a different author known as Emerson said that, Thoreau chose to be a very rich person by making his wants few and also by supplying them himself. Generally, I learnt a lot from this wisdom filled selection and I plan to apply the teachings taught by the author later in my life.