Notes on Walden Themes

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Walden Topic Tracking: My House Outdoors


My House Outdoors 1: Thoreau gives an update on the progress of his house. The cellar is built, but the chimney and caulking will come later when the weather cools in the fall.

Where I Lived

My House Outdoors 2: He mentions his house, which had many holes between boards and in the roof. This meant that it did not lose the freshness of the outdoors, which was very important to Thoreau.


My House Outdoors 3: Thoreau talks a little about how he misses the cock crowing, along with other domestic sounds: There is no yard, no gate, no path to the civilized world at Walden that can provide him with these very unique and different sounds. However, in the end, this gets him excited. He enjoys having nature outside, encroaching on the cabin, instead of a yard.


My House Outdoors 4: The wasps left in November for winter quarters when Thoreau got winter quarters himself: His house became winter quarters with the first fires he lit inside. First he had to build his chimney. Unfortunately, he also had to repair the chinks in the roof and walls, which meant that being inside was not as pleasing, but also much warmer. He says this was the first time he actually inhabited his house. The house seemed larger because it was one room. His dream house is even larger, but still only one room, and without any superfluous "ginger-bread work" around the edges. It could house everything, and everyone, from royalty to the common cook and servant. Everything is visible, hung on pegs, and the best part about the openness is that you can hear the cooking no matter where you are. As a guest you have free run of the house, which is much more hospitable than the tradition of staying in a guest room, being kept apart from the rest of the house.

Winter Animal

My House Outdoors 5: The pond was his yard, because the snow was blown off of it. He skated and slid on it.


My House Outdoors 6: The robins came and proved that spring was here. That was the first spring night for Thoreau in his cabin.

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