Walden - Study Guide Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

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"Former Inhabitants and Winter Visitors" is a chapter principally concerned with the former; with the people that Thoreau identifies as inhabitants of the area around Walden Pond before his arrival there. The significance of the chapter in Walden, as a complete work, is its demonstration of the mortality of men, and the minutia of any man's destiny on nature's canvas.

Thoreau presents an impression of each one of the characters the former inhabitants of the area. There are four: Zilpha, "a colored woman"; Brister Freeman, "a handy Negro"; Breed; and Wyman, "the potter." He also alludes to those who visited him at his cabin: Ellery Channing, Amos Bronson Alcott, and – probably – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

When Thoreau alludes to his visitors, the poets Channing and Emerson; and the controversial Concord Transcendentalist, Alcott, he does so in the context of another...

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This section contains 296 words
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Walden from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.