Henry David Thoreau's Literary Experience Essay

1036 Words 5 Pages
In “Civil Disobedience” Thoreau emphasizes the need for self-reliance (“Clendenning”). This statement is fitting because Thoreau was one of the most self-reliant men of his time period. He was an individual and enjoyed nature. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) is closely related to the Transcendentalism movement, which lasted a mere ten years in the 1830s and 1840s. Transcendentalism is the belief of self-reliance, individuality, social reform, and relying on reason. Henry David Thoreau’s love of nature, languages, and contemporary English, as well as the growth of Transcendentalism greatly influenced the life of this great American Author.
Henry David Thoreau did not come from a wealthy and distinguished family (Olsen). However his family
…show more content…
In his lifetime Thoreau was an independent person always going to do stuff by himself. While attending Harvard College he would take walks by the Charles River (Olsen). Occasionally he would even hike fifteen miles home to visit Concord. Before college he spent most of his time in the woods with his brother John (Olsen). He was fascinated by nature and the changing seasons (Olsen). He even hunted, which he later gave up (Olsen). In 1845 he moved to Walden Pond and lived there by himself for a little over two years (Olsen). He later wrote a book about his time at Walden Pond which celebrated people living in harmony with Nature (Clendenning). While at Walden Pond he recorded observations of nature as well as how he built his home, paid the bills, and spent his time (Clendenning). Thoreau recalled his time at Walden Pond as an experiment on simple living, not a withdrawing from society (Clendenning). This fact shows Thoreau’s love for nature and being an individual. He spent a lot of time by himself but it was not considered withdraw from society. Carl L. Blankston, III, wrote a criticism about”Civil Disobedience”. Thoreau spent one night in jail for refusing to pay six years’ worth of poll taxes. He did not support the War with Mexico or a country that still allowed slavery in the south (Bankston). Thoreau has no regard for law because it expresses the acceptance of a majority (Bankston).

Related Documents