Sample Essay

‘for all the motions of a squirrel, even in the most solitary recesses of the forest, imply spectators as much as those of a dancing girl—wasting more time in delay and circumspection than would have sufficed to walk the whole distance—I never saw one walk—and then suddenly, before you could say Jack Robinson, he would be in the top of a young pitch pine, winding up his clock and chiding all imaginary spectators, soliloquizing and talking to all the universe at the same time—for no reason that I could ever detect, or he himself was aware of’’ (Thoreau D. Henry ‘WALDEN, and ON THE DUTY OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE’)

The crux of this matter is that this part of Thoreau’s philosophy was connected to a broader movement happening amongst philosophers at the time. It was his exposure to these writers and their works in fact that inspired the development of his own thought process. Transcendentalists were individuals like Thoreau dissatisfied with the present nature of things, looking for a deeper and involved meaning to life. This was a move away from the rationality of the previous generation which had proven itself to be unsatisfying. Thoreau also had issues with the status quo getting jailed once because he refused to pay taxes and earlier on quitting a teaching job because he felt it went against the way he felt life should be lived.

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