With their call for "simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!”, for self-honesty, and for harmony with nature, the writings of Henry David Thoreau are perhaps the most influential philosophical works in all American literature. The selections in this volume represent Thoreau at his best. Included in their entirety are Walden, his indisputable masterpiece, and his two great arguments for nonconformity, Civil Disobedience and Life Without Principle. A lifetime of brilliant observation of nature--and of himself--is recorded in selections from A Week On The Concord And Merrimack Rivers, Cape Cod, The Maine Woods and The Journal.
In addition to the texts of 'Walden' and 'Civil Disobedience', this revised and expanded 'Norton Critical Edition' reprints the increasingly important works 'Slavery in Massachusetts', 'Walking' and 'Wild Apples'. All texts are accompanied by annotations.
Walden, Henry Thoreau's classic account of life in a simple one-room cabin in New England remains, 150 years on, an anti-establishment masterpiece and a testament to individualism wrote John Updike Henry David Thoreau began the tale of his experiment of simple living at Walden Pond. Over the course of the next two hundred-odd pages, Thoreau outlined his philosophy of life, politics, and nature, laying the foundation for a secure place in the canon of great American writers. Although Walden enjoyed only moderate success in Thoreau's lifetime, his experiment at the pond would spark considerable interest in the years to come. The book has inspired other young people to follow his example and retire to a lonely spot--even if only in imagination--to ponder the world and their place in it. Thoreau's words expressed the concerns of many of his contemporaries as industrialization and war permanently altered the world around them, just as they struck a chord in a generation of young people in the 1960s and 1970s who opposed the modern military-industrial complex and sought peace and simplicity in their lives. For many, Walden has served as a touchstone. A century and a half after its publication, Walden has become such a totem of the back-to-nature, preservationist, anti-business, civil-disobedience mindset, and Thoreau so vivid a protester, so perfect a crank and hermit saint, that the book risks being as revered and unread as the Bible. Of the American classics densely arisen in the middle of the 19th century - Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter (1850), Melville's Moby-Dick (1851), Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1855), to which we might add Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1854) as a nation-stirring bestseller and Emerson's essays as an indispensable preparation of the ground - Walden has contributed most to America's present sense of itself. In a time of informational overload, of clamorously inane and ubiquitous electronic entertainment, and of a fraught, globally challenged, ever more demanding workplace, the urge to build a cabin in the woods and thus reform, simplify, and cleanse one's life - "to front," in Thoreau's ringing verb, "only the essential facts of life" - remains strong. The holiday industry, so-called, thrives on it, and camper sales, and the weekend recourse to second homes in the northern forests or the western mountains, where the pollutions of industry and commerce are relatively light. "Simplify, simplify," Walden advises, and we try, even though a 21st-century attainment of a rustic, elemental simplicity entails considerable complications of budget and transport.
Walden, written by Henry David Thoreau, was first published in 1854. Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst nature & ecology, lakes & ponds, and woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. The book compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development. Henry David Thoreau reflects upon simple living in natual surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and to some degree, a manual for self reliance. Civil Disobedience also written by Henry David Thoreau is an essay that was first published in 1849. While Henry David Thoreau was considered a transcendentalist, his work of writings encompasses social sciences, political science, civil rights, and humanities. In Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Henry David Thoreau's motivation to pen the Civil Disobedience essay was in part due to his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War. As noted, Civil Disobedience is studied in social sciences, political science, civil rights, and humanities, yet while only an essay, Civil Disobedience is often textbook required reading. In addition to Walden and Civil Disobedience, this anthology volume also contains four additional popular essays by Henry David Thoreau which are: Life Without Principle, Slavery In Massachusetts, A Plea for Captain John Brown, and Walking.
Thoreau has inspired generations of readers to think for themselves and to find meaning and beauty in nature. This sampling includes five of his most frequently read and cited essays: "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" (1849), "Life without Principle" (1863), "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854), "A Plea for Captain John Brown" (1869) and "Walking" (1862).
A Study Guide for Henry David Thoreau's "Walden and Other Writings," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Nonfiction Classics for Students.This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Nonfiction Classics for Students for all of your research needs.