Henry Thoreau

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Born in 1817, in Concord, Henry David Thoreau became one of the greatest writers among the American Renaissance. Thoreau based his whole philosophy on the fact that man needed to get rid of material things in order to be an individual. An exquisitely educated man, Thoreau went to Harvard, which placed heavy emphasis on the classics. Thoreau studied a curriculum that included grammar and composition, mathematics, English, history, and various philosophies. He also spoke fluently in Italian, French, German, and Spanish. After his graduation in 1837, Thoreau became a teacher. He and his brother John, however, closed the school in 1841, for Thoreau knew writing was his passion. He kept a journal beginning in 1837, and most think he wrote way before that time. Thoreau’s love for writing pushed him to make it a driving force in his life.Thoreau was also a big part of the Transcendentalist’s Movement. The Transcendentalists assumed that the soul and nature were the two essential parts of the universe. "Transcendentalism started as a radical religious movement, opposed to the rationalist, conservative institution that Unitarianism had become." Unitarians had expressed the need for and conviction of a more personal and intuitive experience of the divine. "If a man does not keep pace with his companion, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." Individuality was a big part of Thoreau’s life; he believed that independent, well-thought action arose nat...

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