Walden - Study Guide Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

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Concluding Walden, Thoreau is perhaps especially figurative in his language; and grandiose in his illusions, particularly to explorers and discoverers, including Sir John Franklin, who disappeared in 1847 while searching for the Northwest Passage. Thoreau is advocating that men try to be like such men; in principle, not in their actions, because he suggests that men ought to explore worlds of thought within themselves instead of physical worlds and trade routes. He suggests that exploration of continents and the like is a meaningless distraction for men. Thoreau argues self-exploration is more valuable and meaningful than the physical, more so than the general learning. Hence, "if you would learn to speak all tongues and conform to the customs of all nations, if you would travel further than all travelers…Explore thyself."

Within the discourse on why Thoreau went to live beside Walden Pond is his justification for...

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This section contains 568 words
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Walden from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.