by Henry David Thoreau
Walden Isolation Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Essay.Paragraph)
If, by living thus reserved and austere, like a hermit in the woods, so long, it has acquired such wonderful purity, who would not regret that the comparatively impure waters of Flint's Pond should be mingled with it, or itself should ever go to waste its sweetness in the ocean wave? (Ponds.27)
Thoreau describes Walden Pond itself as a kind of hermit, setting up an analogy between himself and its pure waters – very clever.
House, … $28.12 ½
Farm one year, …$14.72 ½
Food eight months, … $8.74
Clothing, &c., eight months … $8.40 ¾
Oil, &c., eight months, … $2.00
In all,….$61.99 ¾ (Economy.50)
This meticulous account of Thoreau's expenses shows us how much (or how little) it costs to live alone. That reminds us, we've been meaning to come up with a personal budget.
I was as near being resolved into the essence of things as ever I was in my life. I fear my thoughts will not come back to me […] There never is but one opportunity of a kind. (Brute Neighbors.5)
These are the words of the hermit in a dialogue with the poet at the start of Chapter 2. The Hermit comes across as a silly man, easily distracted from the "essence of things" by a fishing trip. Could this be a reminder, perhaps, never to take yourself too seriously?