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Henry David Thoreau


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Walden Analysis

Literary Devices in Walden

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory


Field TripWalden chronicles the two years Thoreau spent at Walden Pond, a rural area located just outside of Concord, Massachusetts. If you're lucky enough to live in the area, you should...

Narrator Point of View

In Walden, Thoreau uses a first person, central narrator point of view to describe his personal experiences during his two-year adventure. The advantage of this narrative technique is that we get r...


Let's see. With Walden, Thoreau tells a story about his life in the first person. We're going to go ahead and call that an autobiography. Maybe it's not as thrilling as Rob Lowe's or Portia De Ross...


Starting with his epigraph, Thoreau announces that he wants to wake us up. That's why it's not really surprising that the tone in the book is generally exuberant, as if Thoreau was shouting in your...

Writing Style

Thoreau's writing style is dense with metaphor, and filled with sentences that pile on observation after observation, and reflection upon reflection, until, before you know it, you've gotten to the...

What's Up With the Title?

If you've read this book, it's pretty obvious what the title is all about. Walden is the name of the pond, just outside Concord, Massachusetts, where Thoreau lived alone for two years. Given that h...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up. Thoreau's epigraph may be referring to S...

What's Up With the Ending?

While Thoreau spends quite a few pages explaining the rationale behind his "private experiment" by Walden Pond, he gives us very little explanation as to why he ultimately leaves: "I left the woods...


Thoreau wants his book to be difficult – but not incomprehensible. He wants to challenge his readers to think, to question, to examine every element of their lives (and perhaps every element of h...

Plot Analysis

Thoreau moves to Walden Pond and decides to embark on a personal experiment. His objective? To see what will happen if he lives alone, with just the bare essentials, for two years. Pretty exciting...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Is it Possible to Live Differently?Thoreau is inspired to embark on his quest for spiritual enlightenment by his own desire to find out what life really is all about. He's dissatisfied with contem...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Thoreau sets up his cabin and fields next to Walden Pond.Thoreau lives beside Walden Pond for two years.Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and rejoins civilized society.


Thoreau's father was a pencil-maker (source). That's kind of perfect, considering his son became a writer.Thoreau died of tuberculosis at the age of 44. His last words? "Moose" and "Indian" (source...

Steaminess Rating

The book is about a guy living alone in the middle of the woods. It's about as steamy as a National Audubon Society guide.


The Bhagavad-Gita (Economy.77)The Bible (Economy.47-48)Thomas Carew, Coelum Britannicum (Economy.111)Ellery Channing, "Baker Farm" (Baker Farm.3)Confucius, Analects (Economy.15, Where I Lived.20; S...

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