Thoreau Essay

614 WordsOct 17, 20133 Pages
Among all of the writers of American, no one horns for simple more eagerly than Henry David Thoreau do, yet few are more complex to be understood. Thoreau’ life itself is quite a good example. It is quite obvious that Thoreau has had a good chance to be a wealth man, since he was a Harvard graduate. Had he so chosen, he might have studied some popular subjects like law, business or politics and then hitched his wagon to the star of a traditional career, living the so-called “American dream”. But all through his life, he lives as craftsman, a loafer, a hermit, above all, an eccentric. Actually, the facts of Thoreau's life are appropriately spare for one who wrote, "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand. . ." He was born July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts; graduated from Harvard College in 1837; made a living primarily by surveying land and helping with the family pencil-making and ground lead business, though he taught school for several years when he was in his 20s and lectured from time to time from 1838 until 1860; traveled rarely (but almost always wrote about it when he did); and died at the age of 44 on May 6, 1862. Neither he nor any of his three siblings married; his only brother died in 1842 and one sister in 1849. Moreover, Thoreau’s literary choice is apparently another mystery. He is remembered for being at odds with his culture, what is more, he paid little effort to achieve his fame, even his close associate and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson disappointed that Thoreau did not turn his energy to greater intellectual influence (thoreau331-32). It is not that he cares little about his literary career. On the contrary, he probably decided sometime during college that he wanted writing to be his life's work. Apart from an early essay about the seasons that may not be authentic,

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