Where I Lived What I Lived for Essay

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The narrator tells us that for many years he thought of buying a farm in the Concord countryside. He considered many sites and even exercised his Yankee shrewdness by haggling over the price with several farmers. But he followed his own advice, as expressed in "Economy," and avoided purchasing a farm because it would inevitably tie him down financially and complicate his life. Besides, he reasoned, why did he need to own a farm? All that is of real value to the individual in living on a farm — close, personal contact with the spiritually invigorating influences of nature — can be had for nothing. The Hollowell place did, however, offer a special advantage that the narrator desired: "its complete retirement, being about two miles from the village, half a mile from the nearest neighbour, and separated from the highway." He desired solitude, but not the Hollowell mortgage, so he created a suitable substitute — a primitive, inexpensive "farm" on the shore of Walden. He declared his own independence from society and mortgages on July 4, 1845, by moving into his pond-side hut. There he found himself free from the trivialities of village life, free from the economic rat race, and free to be inspired by nature. He relates the spiritual ecstasy that came to him immediately after moving to Walden. He was so content, so totally happy while enjoying the ripeness of summer and the songs of various birds that he came to see his new residence as no longer a simple hut but as a "new and unprofaned part of the universe." To some, it might have seemed a poor excuse for a house, but to the inspired narrator it had a divine character. The narrator especially enjoyed his mornings at Walden. He found each one to be "a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself." As he bathed in the pond, he was both physically and

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