Walden Pond - Thoreau's Place of Quietude

Walden Pond - Thoreau's Place of Quietude Famous Historical Events Geography Social Studies Philosophy Famous People Poetry Nineteenth Century Life

This is a view of Walden Pond, where Henry David Thoreau lived in a small cabin between 1845-1847.  The site is located in Concord, Massachusetts

Thoreau called his book, about the Walden-Pond experience, Walden; Or, Life in the Woods.  Among other things, he wrote:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. 

I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear;  nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.  (Thoreau, Walden, pages 158-9, split into paragraphs here for easier reading.)

In other words ... Thoreau believed that by living quietly in the woods, for a period of time, his life would be better.

Do you think such an experiment would be possible in the 21st-century? 

If so, do you think people could benefit from "stepping-off-the-grid" for a time?

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5186stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Apr 24, 2019

Media Credits

Photo of Walden Pond by Girish Kulkarni and Nishita Desai (known as "ptwo" at Flickr).  Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


License:  This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License. In short: You are free to share and make derivative works of it under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one.


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