I did not get Walden, or the excerpt anyway, when I first read it. I still can not really say that I do. I could not understand why anyone would want to go and live by themselves in the woods for that long. To me, two years can be an eternity. Not only did he want to live there, he wrote a book about it. Only the book is not really about all his experiences in the woods, they are in there, but mostly it seems, he is just spouting philosophies off of the top of his head. Until this assignment, I did not understand Thoreau. In fact, I thought that the man was on drugs, that is, until I did a little digging.
Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817. He lived in Concord, Massachusetts and barely ever followed the rules. Henry had a pretty darn good education. He went to Harvard, they required him to wear black, so Thoreau wore green. He had several different jobs at the start of his life, like most of us do. He was a school teacher, lecturer, even Emerson's handyman. Now onto the good part, in 1845 Thoreau lived alone at Walden Pond in a cabin that he built himself. He crammed all his experiences into one year and wrote a book about it, Walden. He stayed there the entire time except for the time in 1846 when good ole Henry was arrested. He refused to pay the taxes that would support the Mexican War. After his experience in jail, he wrote "Civil Disobedience". "Civil Disobedience" is basically telling people if you do not like what the government is doing, then just resist it. Thoreau died of tuberculosis at forty-four in 1862.
See, after doing my research, I found that many people admire this guy. G.W. Bush, our president, even quoted him. I wasn"t even sure that our president could read, but that is a whole other paper all together. When he said that he had done drugs, they threw him in jail. His head campaign guy asked him, "Why are you in here George?" G.W. replied, "Why are you out there?" Which just happens to be exactly was what Thoreau said to Emerson when he asked him that question.