Walden

Written on July 4, 2011. Written by .

You can get this audiobook for free from librivox.org. I think Thoreau is interesting because he is one of the most extreme cases of a person who is confident in defying cultural norms. He didn’t buy into the value systems that society encouraged because he was able to think for himself. Rather than struggling for a high paying job, he moved to the woods near Walden pond in Concord, MA. There he built a small shack where he lived for two years. He was not trying to be a hermit and he maintained several relationships with people from the town, but he was trying to see society from an obective point of view. In such a way, he discovered how he could live a more enjoyably and peacefully life by simplifying his life. He not only evaded the financial rat race, but also the social rat race-he did not trouble himself to make too many friends, but still never felt lonely in times of isolation. It was interesting that he was arrested for not paying taxes, but released within a day. Also, he does not mention it in the book, but the land he built on was owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. Unfortunately the book is painfully dull. He spends entire chapters describing animal related events such as an ant war or a fox hunt. The bulk of the book is just a semi-poetic description of nature. The philosophical parts contain some brave assertions, but are marred by severe logical flaws.

★★★★

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