Thoreau's Experiment, Walden, and Carpe Diem Essay

Thoreau's Experiment, Walden, and Carpe Diem Essay

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The mindset of the new generation. It is the advice that’s been heard from the old generations. Live for today. Carpe Diem, “seize the day.” Today, this phrase should be prominent in society; many people want to live every day as if it’s their last on Earth. What I mean is that people want to experience everything they can within the duration of their lives. Henry David Thoreau is an example of one of these individuals; however he chose to document and say, what he supposed, was the exact definition of carpe diem itself. The publication of Walden solidified why he is closely related to this genre in literature. Nevertheless, with any author, you must know about their background and life to understand their works.
Henry David Thoreau was born and for most of his life lived in Concord, Massachusetts in 1817. After taking a leave of absence from his studies at Harvard, he was a schoolteacher at Concord public schools in 1837. Yet he resigned weeks later for not administering corporal punishment to his pupils. He went on to work at his brother John’s school for grammar one year later. However, John died in Henry’s arms in 1842 of tetanus. Thoreau returned to Concord and became the protégé of his longtime mentor and neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson, a New England Transcendentalist, who was a paternal figure for Thoreau; he pushed him to get his essays published. Emerson even let Thoreau build a small cabin on his property at Walden Pond in 1845. This is where Thoreau documented his story in Walden. In the excerpt entitled, “Where I Lived and What I Lived for,” Thoreau expressed his Transcendentalist opinions and views. He relayed why he lived like this, leading a simple lifestyle and being happy is plausible, and that li...


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...ting. While at Emerson’s Walden Pond, Thoreau wrote Walden and expressed his views on life and how we can be content; we just have to slow down and appreciate life’s gifts. Because his experience at Walden always stayed with him, Thoreau still looked to nature to facilitate him in discovering the meaning of life. Though he died fairly young, Thoreau’s lust to see and do as much as possible benefited him. He saw and did many things during his lifetime and his work has inspired other influential people. That is what Thoreau was aiming for; inspire the people to think peculiar and out of the ordinary. Today, Walden can be considered a touchstone of the genre carpe diem. Thoreau manifested an important adage which is also a fact of life: No one tells you how to live life, you just let it run its course. This is carpe diem, and Thoreau is its definition.

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