Why did Thoreau leave the woods?
“I left the woods for as good as reason as I went there”
Thoreau learned all that there was to learn from living his lifestyle of simplicity in nature. He felt like he had reaped all of the benefits so he left, stating that he has “other lives to live.” He had also fallen into a cycle of living which he was trying to avoid. He never wanted to follow a routine and that was one of the reasons he left to go to the woods in the first place. What did he learn by his “experiment” in the woods at Walden?
“Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”
Once settled, Thoreau restricted his diet for the most part to the fruit and vegetables he found growing wild and the beans he planted. When he wasn’t busy weeding his bean rows and trying to protect them from hungry animals or occupied with fishing, swimming, or rowing, he spent long hours observing and recording the local flora and fauna, reading, and writing. Thoreau lived a very leisurely lifestyle. He learned what it felt like to not worry about laws and high-class society. Thoreau experimented in basic living and ended writing 18 essays on attempting to live a leisure lifestyle. What is Thoreau’s legacy for us today?
Thoreau’s legacy for us today is to live life simply. He tried to awaken men and women to their true potential and to the simplicity of life that he learned living out in the woods. “Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.” He felt that life would be a fairy tale if we left behind the complicated things in life. Individual conscience proceeds civil conscience. There will never be a real and Free State until the state comes to recognize individuals for their individualism and independent power and authority.
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