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by Henry David Thoreau

Walden Visitors Summary

  • Just in case you think Thoreau hates people, he doesn't. He loves having friends over, and apparently he's got a lot, even though he only has three chairs. Futon, anyone?
  • Big shocker: Thoreau doesn't think it's necessary to throw big parties in order to have a social life. Real friends appreciate whatever company you provide, even if it's a seat to rest on while you're out. Hopefully there was an IKEA in Concord.
  • One visitor who made a particularly striking impression on Thoreau is a random Canadian woodchopper. The woodchopper is skillful at what he does, and lives just as solitary a life as Thoreau, but seems to be perpetually cheerful. The only difference between the two is that the woodchopper isn't as intellectual as Thoreau. His only books are an almanac and an arithmetic book. Man, when's the last time you've heard someone talk about an almanac?
  • Thoreau is even visited by runaway slaves that he had helped. What a good guy he is.
  • But wait. Even Thoreau gets annoyed. Here are a few examples of people who bug him: men of business, nosy housewives, people who act "old and infirm and timid" regardless of their actual age, and "reformers," that is, people who want to change Thoreau according to their own ideas about what a good life is. Do not cross this dude.

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