Henry David Thoreau Essay Examples

Henry David Thoreau

Walden and the Art of Zen
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A discussion of the work "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau and his contribution to the philosophies of Zen.If I were asked who my favourite Western Zen philosopher was, without any hesitation, I would declare it to be Henry David Thoreau. Although he knew in translation the religious writings of the Hindus, it may be unlikely that Henry David Thoreau ever studied the teachings of the Zen Masters. Even then, the insight within his own personal writings would irrefutably make him…...
Comparing Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau
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In many works of literature, authors express their viewpoints on society and times in which they live. In the essay “Self Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau, the authors speak out against conformity and materialism in society. Both were romanticism authors during the 1800s. They focused on simplicity and individuality. Both writings can advise teenagers today on the importance of non-conformity and the value of rejecting materialism. In “Self Reliance”, Emerson discusses being…...
The Just Versus Unjust
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Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sophocles were three men who tried to show the world that unjust laws hurt all of society, and all three tried what they thought would be the remedy to such injustice.  King even gave his life to the cause of overcoming unjust laws.  I feel that all of them made good points and should be remembered for their great works, but I think that Antigone by Sophocles is the most effective because…...
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Henry David Thoreau’s Transcendental Views on Solitude
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Henry David Thoreau is synonymous with Transcendentalism.  His mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, was the creator of the movement.  Because he truly believed in the concepts, Thoreau actually practiced it to the letter. Transcendentalism, a free meditation in spirituality and individualistic approach to everything, was something that he gave his life to exploring.  He expounded on these views in Civil Disobedience and through his magnificent Plea for John Brown. Thoreau actually experimented with this idea when he self-imposed an exile on…...
Comparing Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King on Unjust Laws
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In today’s society, it is often unclear where to draw the line between good morals and effective government. It is for this reason that many times, laws that are enacted for the “good of the people” can be in direct conflict with a person’s conscience. Due to the various struggles that the United States has faced in building a government, this topic has been a popular discussion throughout American literature. Although they did not live during the same time, American…...
Romanticism: Transcendentalism and Henry David Thoreau
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The Romantic Era followed the Age of Reason. While the Age of Reason involved emphasis on science and rational thinking, Romanticism was the exact opposite. Romantics valued feeling and intuition over reason. They recognized the worth of the individual, and praised beauty, imagination, and innocence. Some of these writers were Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. Through this paper the writer intends to present the reasons that these three authors are considered Romantic writers. Margaret Fuller demonstrated…...
Emerson and Thoreau Transcendentalism Beliefs
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Both Emerson and Thoreau use the images of eyes, vision, and perception to properly demonstrate their transcendentalist beliefs. Transcendentalism is defined as the “idea that our spirits have a deep connection with nature and our ideas transcend to the natural world. ” By using the “transparent eyeball” and other uses of perception of the whole in nature in their works, both authors establish a strong belief of perception through transcendentalism within the natural world. Their works have many parallels between…...
Walden and Transcendentalism
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Henry Thoreau’s masterpiece, Walden or a Life in the Woods, shows the impact transcendentalism had on Thoreau’s worldview. Transcendentalism is a philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual over the material. Transcendentalism puts the emphasis on spiritual growth and understanding as opposed to worldly pleasures. Thoreau’s idea of transcendentalism stressed the importance of nature and being close to nature. He believed that nature was a metaphor for spiritual enlightenment. A walk in the woods therefore was a search for…...
Henry David Thoreau
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"Simplify! was Thoreau's motto" in his life (Stanley 20). He showed people how to live simple life by living a simple life in Walden. Due to Thoreau's efforts and works on nature people considers a nature an important part in their lives, as a result nature became one of the top topics in 21st century. Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts (Meltzer 11). His parents were John Thoreau and Cynthia Dunbar Thoreau (12). Henry…...
Henry Thoreau/ Hitler
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Henry David Thoreau once stated in Civil Disobedience “I was not born to be forced. Let us see who is the strongest. What force had multitude? Thoreau, the father of Transcendentalism, would have never predicted the events that would take place because of Hitler, nearly a century later, the way Hitler took what he wanted and did not care what people he affected. Both Hitler and Thoreau have one thing in common, they are willing to fight for what they…...
Henry David Thoreau and Resistance to Civil Government
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Henry David Thoreau was the most active participant in the Transcendentalist movement. He was a student and mentee of Ralph Waldo Emerson. While Emerson had transcendental ideas, Thoreau would act on them and fully practice them. Hence, he felt that he and others should resist America’s Civil Government. I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. (Thoreau) Thoreau starts out his famous…...
Henry David Thoreau and His Contribution to Transcendentalism
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Henry David Thoreau, a French descendant, was born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts; a graduate of Harvard College with no literary distinction. Throughout his life he executed a very strong Saxon genius, as his ancestors had been known. As an ordinary young man, he began to work for a living. After his graduation, he joined his brother in teaching in a private school, which he stayed for a while. He later left to enter into manufacturing work – making a…...
Henry David Thoreau – “Why I Went to the Woods”
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This excerpt is from his well-known essay, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience". First, some background; in 1842, his sibling John died of tetanus. Three years later on, Henry decided to write a book commemorating a canoe trip he had actually taken with John in 1839. Seeking a quiet place to write, he followed a good friend's recommendation and developed a small cabin on the north coast of Walden Pond on a piece of land owned by his pal and…...
Letter of reccomendation
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A good letter of recommendation from a high school teacher can help undergraduate students get admitted to business programs. This sample letter of recommendation was written for an undergraduate program applicant. See more sample recommendation letters. ===Sample Letter of Recommendation=== To Whom It May Concern: Cheri Jackson is an extraordinary young woman. As her AP English Professor, I have seen many examples of her talent and have long been impressed by her diligence and work ethic. I understand that Cheri…...
Rhetorical Analysis of Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”
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Directions: Read “Civil Disobedience.” As you read, underline examples of Thoreau using rhetorical devices and identify and explain the devices via annotation. Answer questions 1-4 to prepare for further work with a small group. The group will work together on questions 5 through 8. Be ready to explain your answers to the whole class. Even when you’re working as a group you should be writing the answers. 1. Based on your reading of “Civil Disobedience,” what kind of person does…...
?‘Where I lived and What I Lived For’ – Henry David Thoreau
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Many of Henry D. Thoreau’s ideas are clearly seen in his piece of writing ‘Where I Lived and What I Lived For’. Through his work, not only do we learn about his experience in the woods at Walden Pond, but also about his values and the way he sees life, which he shares with his readers all throughout the chapter. In my opinion, of the most significant topics this chapter deals with is ‘the beauty of nature’. As said by…...
Thoreau’s Concept of Simplicity in Walden Book Review
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In Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, or, Life in the Woods, the concept of simplicity was a striking key factor. Thoreau clearly states in his first story “Economy”, “Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life…” (1). Simplicity comes from within and to realize the morale at such a young stage in life is a gift that many can cherish forever. Simple is best, how often do we…...
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?‘Where I lived and What I Lived For’ – Henry David Thoreau

...“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 consider this quote encompass...