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Title: from Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau


1
from Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David
Thoreau
Feature Menu
Introducing the Selection Literary Focus
Metaphor Reading Skills Making Generalizations
About a Writers Beliefs
2
from Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David
Thoreau
3
from Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David
Thoreau
In 1845, Thoreau went to live in a small cabin on
Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.
Walden is his famous account of his two-year
experiment in simple living. These excerpts relate
  • his day-to-day experiences of life in the woods
  • his ideas about what constitutes a life worth
    living

4
from Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David
Thoreau
What would it be like to live alone in a cabin in
the woods, with no company but the birds and
other animals? Would you be lonely, bored?
Or would you, like Thoreau, feel more alive than
before?
End of Section
5
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Literary
Focus Metaphor
A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an
imaginative comparison between two unlike things.
  • A metaphor does not use a specific word of
    comparison such as like, as, than, or resembles.
  • Instead, it says that something is something else.

6
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Literary
Focus Metaphor
Thoreaus metaphors are
  • highly visual
  • drawn from nature and from everyday, familiar
    things

I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but
rather to go before the mast and on the deck of
the world, for there I could best see the
moonlight amid the mountains. from Walden, or
Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
7
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Literary
Focus Metaphor
I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but
rather to go before the mast and on the deck of
the world, for there I could best see the
moonlight amid the mountains. from Walden, or
Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
Work on a ship to pay for ones passage. Enjoy
the exhilaration of working on the decksalt
spray, crack of sails, sense of danger.
Buy a ticket for a cabin on a ship. Travel in
safety and comfort. Meals in the dining room,
comfortable bed in your cabin.
8
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Literary
Focus Metaphor
Paraphrase each metaphor that you find in the
selection. State in your own words
  • what is being compared to what
  • the point Thoreau is trying to make

Metaphor
Paraphrase
I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but
rather to go before the mast and on the deck of
the world....
Thoreau is comparing life to travel on a ship. He
doesnt want to be safe and comfortable. He wants
adventure.
9
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Literary
Focus Metaphor
In this excerpt, what does
Thoreau compare his writing to? What point is he
trying to make with the comparison?
I trust that none will stretch the seams in
putting on the coat, for it may do good service
to him whom it fits . . . . from Walden, or Life
in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
End of Section
10
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Reading
Skills Making Generalizations About a Writers
Beliefs
A generalization is a type of inference in which
a conclusion is drawn from explicit examples in
the text.
Why should we be in such desperate haste to
succeed . . . If a man does not keep pace with
his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a
different drummer. Let him step to the music
which he hears, however measured or far away. It
is not important that he should mature as soon as
an apple tree or an oak. from Walden, or Life
in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
11
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Reading
Skills Making Generalizations About a Writers
Beliefs
As you read Walden, take notes in a two-column
journal like the one below.
Thoreaus Ideas Generalizations
  • In the left column, list Thoreaus explicit ideas.
  • In the right column, make generalizations that
    seem to logically follow from Thoreaus views.

End of Section
12
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Vocabulary
Previewing the Vocabulary pertinent adj. to the
point applying to the situation. encumbrance n.
burden hindrance. impervious adj. resistant
incapable of being penetrated. temporal adj.
temporary. superficial adj. not profound
shallow. effete adj. sterile unproductive.
13
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Vocabulary
Previewing the Vocabulary incessantly adv.
without stopping. derision n. ridicule
contempt. tumultuous adj. noisy and disorderly
stormy. ethereal adj. not earthly spiritual.
14
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Vocabulary
Vocabulary Activity Analogies In an analogy two
pairs of words have the same relationship.
bitter
sharp dull ________ sweet
Read analogies using this pattern Sharp is to
dull as ________ is to sweet.
Sharp and dull are opposites, or antonyms, just
as bitter and sweet are opposites.
15
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Vocabulary
Vocabulary Activity Analogies Here are some of
the possible relationships between words in a
pair.
Synonyms
Characteristic
tired weary
peach juicy
Antonyms
Degree of Intensity
pleased disappointed
amusing hilarious
16
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Vocabulary
Vocabulary Activity Analogies Complete each
analogy with one of the Word Bank words on the
right.
superficial derision effete impervious pertinent t
umultuous
impervious
  1. delicate silk __________ barrier
  2. polite courteous __________ relevant
  3. love liking __________ disapproval
  4. calm tranquil __________ stormy
  5. short long __________ deep
  6. wrong correct __________ productive

pertinent
derision
tumultuous
superficial
effete
End of Section
17
Meet the Writer
18
from Walden, or Life in the Woods Meet the Writer
Henry David Thoreau (18171862) achieved no
worldly success in his life even his close
friend Ralph Waldo Emerson felt as if Thoreau had
wasted his potential. Yet Thoreaus simple,
deliberately lived life led to the writing of
Walden, one of the most famous and influential
works of American literature.
More About the Writer
End of Section
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