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Henry David Thoreau


Quotes 'Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.' Walden ' ... I love a life whose plot is simple, And does not thicken with every pimple, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau
  • By Caroline L.
  • Period 5

Early Life and Education
  • Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817.
    He was born in Concord, MA. Concord was the
    center of his life.
  • He attended Concord Academy from 1828-1833. He
    then attended and graduated from Harvard in 1837.
    He taught in Canton at the Center School but
    resigned to protest of the whipping of students
    as a disciplinary action.
  • He helped in his father's pencil factory, and
    then opened a private school in Concord in 1838
    with his brother John Thoreau. This school was
    based on Transcendentalism, the literary and
    philosophical movement adopted by Ralph Waldo
    Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and Orestes Brownson.
    When John became fatally ill, the school was
    closed and Thoreau lived in Emerson's home as a
    handyman while he practiced writing in his
    journal. He also published a few pieces, wrote
    poetry, and lectured at the Concord Lyceum.
  • From 1843-1844 he went to Staten Island, New York
    to tutor the children of Emerson's brother,
    William Emerson. He built a small structure on
    Emerson's land alongside Walden Pond. During his
    stay there (from July 4, 1845--Sept 6, 1847), he
    was jailed one night for refusing to pay a poll
    tax meant to support America's war in Mexico. In
    1849 he published an essay on this experience,
    "Resistance to Civil Government' which was later
    known as "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.
    This essay is about passive resistance to unjust
    laws which inspired Gandhi and Martin Luther King
  • He wrote the manuscript for A Week on the Concord
    and Merrimack Rivers in 1849, which was an
    account of a trip he had taken with his brother
    John ten years before. The journal he kept at
    Walden became the source of his most famous book,
    Walden (1854), in which he set forth his ideas on
    how an individual should best live to be in sync
    to his own nature as well as to nature itself.
  • After leaving Walden, he lived with Emerson from
    1847-1849 and then for the rest of his life in
    his family home. He occasionally worked at the
    pencil factory and did some surveying. By the
    1850s he had become greatly concerned about
    slavery, and after meeting John Brown in 1857, he
    would write passionately in his defense.
  • He lived out his final years with tuberculosis.
    He spent his time preparing his journals and
    manuscripts for later publication.

  • His parents were John and Cynthia Thoreau.
  • He had an older sister and an older brother,
    Helen and John Thoreau Jr. His younger sisters
    name was Sophia.
  • His legal name is actually David Henry Thoreau.
    He was named after his uncle who died six weeks
    after he was born.

  • 1842 Natural History of Massachusetts
  • 1849 A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
  • 1849 On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience
  • 1854 Walden, or Life in the Woods
  • Slavery in Massachusetts
  • 1859 Plea For John Brown
  • 1863 Excursions
  • Life Without Principle
  • 1864 The Maine Woods
  • 1865 Cape Cod
  • 1866 Yankee in Canada
  • 1884 Summer
  • 1887 Winter
  • 1895 Poems of Nature
  • 1943 Collected Poems
  • The Dispersion of Seeds
  • Walking

  • Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me
    truth. Walden
  • It is never too late to give up your
    prejudices. Walden
  • Beware of all enterprises that require new
  • We do not enjoy poetry unless we know it to be
  • ..as if you could kill time without injuring
    eternity Walden
  • If you have built castles in the air, your work
    need not be lost that is where they should
    be.Now put the foundations under them. Walden
  • I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all
    to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
  • However mean your life is, meet it and live it
    do not shun it and call it hard names. Walden
  • I should not talk so much about myself if there
    were anybody else whom I knew as well.
    Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the
    narrowness of my experience. Walden

  • Conscience is instinct bred in the house,
    Feeling and Thinking propagate the sin By an
    unnatural breeding in and in. I say, Turn it out
    doors, Into the moors. I love a life whose plot
    is simple, And does not thicken with every
    pimple, A soul so sound no sickly conscience
    binds it, That makes the universe no worse than
    't finds it. I love an earnest soul, Whose
    mighty joy and sorrow Are not drowned in a bowl,
    And brought to life to-morrow That lives one
    tragedy, And not seventy A conscience worth
    keeping Laughing not weeping A conscience
    wise and steady, And forever ready Not
    changing with events, Dealing in compliments A
    conscience exercised about Large things, where
    one may doubt.
  • I love a soul not all of wood, Predestinated to
    be good, But true to the backbone Unto itself
    alone, And false to none Born to its own
    affairs, Its own joys and own cares By whom
    the work which God begun Is finished, and not
    undone Taken up where he left off, Whether to
    worship or to scoff If not good, why then evil,
    If not good god, good devil. Goodness! you
    hypocrite, come out of that, Live your life, do
    your work, then take your hat. I have no
    patience towards Such conscientious cowards.
    Give me simple laboring folk, Who love their
    work, Whose virtue is song To cheer God along.

Contributions and Recognitions
  • Although Thoreau never earned a living off of his
    writings, he was highly recognized after his
  • His primary writing genre was the essay. His
    interests in natural surroundings was reflected
    in most of his writing.
  • His book Walden is his best known work.

Works Cited
  • www.americanpoems.com
  • www.transcendentalists.com
  • http//eserver.org/thoreau/images.html
  • http//www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/index.
  • www.poets.org
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