Walden

From Academic Kids

This article is about a book by Henry Thoreau. For other uses of the name, see Walden (disambiguation).
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Thoreau's Cove, Concord, Mass..

Walden (also known as Life in the Woods) by Henry David Thoreau is one of the best-known non-fiction books written by an American.

Published in 1854, it details Thoreau's life for two years and two months in second-growth forest around the shores of Walden Pond, not far from his friends and family in Concord, Massachusetts. Walden was written so that the stay appears to be a year, with expressed seasonal divisions. Thoreau called it an experiment in simple living.

Walden is neither a novel nor a true autobiography, but a social critique of the Western World, with each chapter heralding some aspect of humanity that either needed to be renounced or praised. Along with his critique of the civilized world, Thoreau examines other issues afflicting man in society, ranging from economy (the first chapter of the book) and reading to solitude and "higher laws." He also takes time to talk about the experience at Walden Pond itself, commenting on the animals and the way people treated him for living there, using those experiences to bring out his philosophical positions. This extended commentary on nature has often been interpreted as a strong statement to the natural religion that transcendentalists like Thoreau and Emerson were preaching.

More than a century later, Walden remains a touchstone for Americans seeking to "get in touch with Nature," and is a major cultural icon. It has been parodied in the Doonesbury comic strip, and emulated in Walden Two by B.F. Skinner.

The pond itself is a tourist attraction, as well as a center of controversy over nearby development - thus demonstrating the very tension between natural and man-made pleasures that Thoreau explored in his book.

Wikisource: Full Text of Walden

Chapters

  • Economy
  • Complemental Verses (this chapter consists of one poem)
  • Where I Lived, and What I Lived For
  • Reading
  • Sounds
  • Solitude
  • Visitors
  • The Bean-Field
  • The Village
  • The Ponds
  • Baker Farm
  • Higher Laws
  • Brute Neighbors
  • House-warming
  • Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors
  • The Pond in Winter
  • Spring
  • Conclusion

External links

zh:瓦尔登湖

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