Walden Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why does Thoreau decide to live such an isolated life at Walden Pond?

The subtitle of this book is On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. Thoreau believes that most people follow a certain form of thinking because that is what the majority does. Thoreau decides to move away to find his own path and prove that he can do what others said he can not.

2. What benefits does Thoreau say he gains from simplifying his existence?

Thoreau lists the small number of items that he truly needs to survive over the two years and two months he spends living on Walden Pond. He separates need from want and begins to understand the freedom of living with few possessions.

3. What reaction do the people of Concord have to Thoreau's lifestyle?

Many people claimed that Thoreau is impertinent for doing this experiment. He is told he is crazy and is also criticized for being selfish. His means of living do not allow him to give money to the poor, and people in the community thought this was unacceptable.

(read all 60 Short Essay Questions and Answers)

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