Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Instead of noblemen, let us have noble villages of men. (Reading.11)
Thoreau offers his own version of an ideal society: a village devoted entirely to learning.
These cellar dents, like deserted fox burrows, old holes, are all that is left where once were the stir and bustle of human life, and "fate, free-will, foreknowledge absolute," in some form and dialect or other were by turns discussed. (Former Inhabitants.12)
Seeing these remnants of past human residences, Thoreau wonders what is really permanent and eternal in human life. Why spend so much effort gaining wealth and building a huge house if it's all going to disappear one day? As they say, you can't take it with you.
Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought […] Explore thyself. (Conclusion.2)
Instead of exploring for new lands to exploit and colonize, Thoreau directs his readers to explore themselves.