Henry David Thoreau and The Transcendentalist Movement

1228 Words5 Pages
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly needed to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail” (The). This quote describes the attitude that Thoreau had toward life. He wanted to make life as simple as it could be, which he achieved throughout his lifetime. Henry David Thoreau was part of the Transcendentalist movement, which occurred roughly in the years of 1836 to 1860. Transcendentalism was an important literary and philosophical movement that began as a reform in the Unitarian church. Transcendentalist believed that all humans were one with nature and that there was no evil. It was believed by transcendentalist that if a person were connected to the natural world, they could become Christ-like (American). There were many factors that played a role in the reasons for Thoreau's writings, such as his odd personality and the way he chose to live his life.

Henry David Thoreau’s writings were influenced by the way he lived his life. He was considered by many people to be different because he wanted to be on his own most of the time. (Olson). Due to this, he did not interact well with others in social situations, which often made people angry with him (Olson). He also never had a steady profession, never married, and was always moving from home to home (Olson). All of this was connected to Thoreau’s impulse to reach simplicity. Thoreau went to Harvard University, where he studied to be a teacher. When he graduated, he started a journ...

... middle of paper ...

...p://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/henry-david-thoreau>.

Olson, Steven P. Henry David Thoreau: American Naturalist, Writer, and Transcendentalist. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2006. Print.

Potter, Tom. "Musings on Thoreau: Thoughts about Walden." Ebscohost.com. EBSCO Industries, Inc, n.d. Web. .

"The Henry D. Thoreau Quotation Page: Simplicity." Walden.org. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1906, n.d. Web. 11 May 2014. .

Witherell, Elizabeth. "The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau." The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1973, n.d. Web. 07 May 2014. .

More about Henry David Thoreau and The Transcendentalist Movement

Open Document