Henry David Thoreau: Transcendentalist Writer Essay

Henry David Thoreau: Transcendentalist Writer Essay

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Henry David Thoreau was a nineteenth century American author who lived during the height of Transcendentalism. He became an important contributor to this movement (“H. D. T.” Poetry Foundation). Thoreau received much information about this movement from Emerson, a noteworthy friend of Thoreau. Thoreau wrote many significant works in American literature, including Walden and “Civil Disobedience.” The works of Henry David Thoreau were strongly influenced by the Transcendentalist movement and centered around his stay at Walden Pond.
Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts, on July 12, 1817, to John and Cynthia Thoreau. He was the third of four children (Bloom 7). From early on, Thoreau felt a strong connection to the natural world. This connection stemmed from the fact that both of Thoreau’s parents loved nature, often sharing this interest with their children (“H. D. T.” Poetry Foundation). He visited Walden Pond, the location of his future stay in the woods, in 1821, later writing that the “sweet solitude” provided to him by nature gave his spirit a “proper nursery” (Bloom 8-9). Thoreau even built his own row boat, using it to spend many days on Walden Pond. He especially loved staying home from school and picking huckleberries, saying that it was “like the promise of a life eternal” (Bloom 10). It is evident that Thoreau associated nature with happiness and freedom from early on in his life.
Thoreau’s parents believed that it was necessary for their children to receive a good education. Therefore, they sacrificed much of what they had to allow both Henry and his brother, John, to enroll at Concord Academy in 1828. The purpose of this was to prepare Henry for future study at Harvard. Beginning in 1833, Thoreau att...


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... Thoreau. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 2003. Print.
Fender, Stephen. Introduction. Walden. By Henry David Thoreau. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1997. Print.
Goodman, Russell. “Transcendentalism.” 7 Mar. 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
“Henry David Thoreau.” Encyclopedia Britannica. N.d. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Web. 20 Feb. 2013
“Henry David Thoreau.” Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
Reiley, Stephanie. “Issue 10 – Why a Tiny Home?” 27 July 2009. Web. 2 Mar. 2013
Richardson, Robert D. “Walden’s Ripple Effect.” Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian Institute, Aug. 2004. Web. 21 Feb. 2013
Spencer, Dan. “Set to Embark.” 20 Aug. 2011. Web. 3 Mar. 2013
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. Ed. Stephen Fender. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1997. Print.
Witherell, Elizabeth and Elizabeth Dubrulle. “Life and Times of Henry David Thoreau.” 1995. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.

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