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Walden Essay

1275 words - 6 pages

1. Thoreau states that, “men labor under a mistake” and that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Thoreau in the first quote is saying that men work for all the wrong reasons. This statement carries great truth because Thoreau believe that we should work just so we have enough to survive. Thoreau does not want us to work to have these surplused luxuries that many do have. This statement contains truth because why should people work so hard to be able to pay to go on a luxurious vacation which they won’t even be able to enjoy because when they get back they are going to have to keep working again to pay for it. So many pick up all these extra hours on the job so they can pay for their family to go out to dinner, and have new cars all of which he implies are luxuries. In the second quote Thoreau is saying this to show the negatives in his perspective of how bad mainstream American lifestyle is. He is trying to explain that most men have really bad lives and are living really badly but don’t do anything or say anything about it. I think that this statement presented here does in fact contain some truth. So many men today are unhappy with their lives so all they do is find other things to take up their time like working more, or random hobbies in which they would do so they don't have to deal with their lives. All of these men are so upset with the way that their lives are struggling but just quietly let it go by. These quotes that Thoreau are saying both contain a lot of truth in them.

2. In Thoreau’s chapter “Economy” he states that the necessities of life are food, shelter, clothing, and fuel. In this passage he asserts that these necessities as something that we have the ability to receive from the land, and after satisfying these basic needs everything else is considered a luxury. He mentions in his passage the way we need to view these necessities and to which extent they can be taken to be considered so. He refers to to food as “the fuel which keeps the fire within us” and fuel as “only to prepare food or to increase the warmth of the body.” He mentions that shelter and clothing are there to “also serve only to retain the heat that is generated and absorbed.” Thoreau advises us as humans if we strive to follow his simplicity of living we need to make efforts to live less “luxuriously.” In today's contemporary society we have extremely distorted these basic needs. In todays all people do is live with luxury. For food today there are so many surplus of food and so much is put to waste daily. People take more than they need and end up never eating half of it. If we sticked to the simplicity of the diet Thoreau had we would really be following his ideas of necessities but in today’s life we have variety and a lot of it. We have Chinese food, American food, Japanese, Italian and so much more at such quantities under easy accessibility. This doesn’t follow his ideas of necessary as a life in which we eat to live, but in todays...

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