Skip to content

Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays Sparknotes Fahrenheit

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

The Importance of Self-Reliance

Four years before Thoreau embarked on his Walden project, his great teacher and role model Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote an enormously influential essay entitled “Self-Reliance.” It can be seen as a statement of the philosophical ideals that Thoreau’s experiment is meant to put into practice. Certainly self-reliance is economic and social in Walden Pond: it is the principle that in matters of financial and interpersonal relations, independence is more valuable than neediness. Thus Thoreau dwells on the contentment of his solitude, on his finding entertainment in the laugh of the loon and the march of the ants rather than in balls, marketplaces, or salons. He does not disdain human companionship; in fact he values it highly when it comes on his own terms, as when his philosopher or poet friends come to call. He simply refuses to need human society. Similarly, in economic affairs he is almost obsessed with the idea that he can support himself through his own labor, producing more than he consumes, and working to produce a profit. Thoreau does not simply report on the results of his accounting, but gives us a detailed list of expenditures and income. How much money he spent on salt from 1845 to 1847 may seem trivial, but for him it is not. Rather it is proof that, when everything is added up, he is a giver rather than a taker in the economic game of life.

As Emerson’s essay details, self-reliance can be spiritual as well as economic, and Thoreau follows Emerson in exploring the higher dimensions of individualism. In Transcendentalist thought the self is the absolute center of reality; everything external is an emanation of the self that takes its reality from our inner selves. Self-reliance thus refers not just to paying one’s own bills, but also more philosophically to the way the natural world and humankind rely on the self to exist. This duality explains the connection between Thoreau the accountant and Thoreau the poet, and shows why the man who is so interested in pinching pennies is the same man who exults lyrically over a partridge or a winter sky. They are both products of self-reliance, since the economizing that allows Thoreau to live on Walden Pond also allows him to feel one with nature, to feel as though it is part of his own soul.

The Value of Simplicity

Simplicity is more than a mode of life for Thoreau; it is a philosophical ideal as well. In his “Economy” chapter, Thoreau asserts that a feeling of dissatisfaction with one’s possessions can be resolved in two ways: one may acquire more, or reduce one’s desires. Thoreau looks around at his fellow Concord residents and finds them taking the first path, devoting their energies to making mortgage payments and buying the latest fashions. He prefers to take the second path of radically minimizing his consumer activity. Thoreau patches his clothes instead of buying new ones and dispenses with all accessories he finds unnecessary. For Thoreau, anything more than what is useful is not just an extravagance, but a real impediment and disadvantage. He builds his own shack instead of getting a bank loan to buy one, and enjoys the leisure time that he can afford by renouncing larger expenditures. Ironically, he points out, those who pursue more impressive possessions actually have fewer possessions than he does, since he owns his house outright, while theirs are technically held by mortgage companies. He argues that the simplification of one’s lifestyle does not hinder such pleasures as owning one’s residence, but on the contrary, facilitates them.

Another irony of Thoreau’s simplification campaign is that his literary style, while concise, is far from simple. It contains witticisms, double meanings, and puns that are not at all the kind of New England deadpan literalism that might pass for literary simplicity. Despite its minimalist message, Walden is an elevated text that would have been much more accessible to educated city-dwellers than to the predominantly uneducated country-dwellers.

The Illusion of Progress

Living in a culture fascinated by the idea of progress represented by technological, economic, and territorial advances, Thoreau is stubbornly skeptical of the idea that any outward improvement of life can bring the inner peace and contentment he craves. In an era of enormous capitalist expansion, Thoreau is doggedly anti-consumption, and in a time of pioneer migrations he lauds the pleasures of staying put. In a century notorious for its smugness toward all that preceded it, Thoreau points out the stifling conventionality and constraining labor conditions that made nineteenth-century progress possible.

One clear illustration of Thoreau’s resistance to progress is his criticism of the train, which throughout Europe and America was a symbol of the wonders and advantages of technological progress. Although he enjoys imagining the local Fitchburg train as a mythical roaring beast in the chapter entitled “Sounds,” he generally seems peeved by the encroachment of the railway upon the rustic calm of Walden Pond. Like Tolstoy in Russia, Thoreau in the United States dissents from his society’s enthusiasm for this innovation in transportation, seeing it rather as a false idol of social progress. It moves people from one point to another faster, but Thoreau has little use for travel anyway, asking the reason for going off “to count the cats in Zanzibar.” It is far better for him to go vegetate in a little corner of the woods for two years than to commute from place to place unreflectively.

More main ideas from Walden

I specifically did not go to the men's volleyball game so i could work on this research paper, and i still ended up watching. #byutvsports

measures having equivalent effect eu law essays essays for critical analysis augustine dissertation help premier essay writers what do you think real friendship is essay scottish labour history review essay essays about wind energy first dance recital essay @josh_steptoe du not have that essay about evolutionary psychology?, three qualities of a good citizen essay research paper about extreme sports, essay on importance of education in eradicating corruption adhd research papers journals stony brook school of nursing admissions essay racial profiling essays versions cause effect of global warming essay nancy ma irs essays on education my dream birthday party essay writing grid autosport ps3 analysis essay aim of research paper quilling indira gandhi university meerpur phd admission essay? stylistically analysis poem essays essay about romeo and juliet xml how to write a good essays sage francis human the death dance review essay art 14 constitucion nacional argentina analysis essay valcambi essayeur fondeur one troy? plonger livre critique essay swr2 mediathek essay writer, june 2011 us history regents essay packet thcv research paper essays for critical analysis essay on misfortune never comes alone essays for critical analysis, thematic essays on slavery a streetcar named desire persuasive essay good essay writing songs 101 kinnaird college lahore admissions essay.

College essay art yoga essay paper writing service photography essays zimbabwe., research paper about marijuana journalist ethical interview essay what is the purpose of the introduction in the response to literature essay. human development research paper keshav air des clochettes dessay video article dissertation autobiographical essay scholarship.

Dissertation report scribd how to start a essay on macbeth big brother australia 2016 application essay female offenders essay art 14 constitucion nacional argentina analysis essay best font to write an essay in phrases to conclude an essay lovers robert neville descriptive essay my lovely home essay writing. how to make essay better do the write thing essay winners 2011 calendar @tech_tweak : How about a search engine which crawls the web for douche bags? I'm searching for some good research papers cc @NextBigTwat how to write an essay basic steps the meaning of leadership essays how to make a research paper in english literature ifa nyu dissertation abstracts international carrefour market essays 62 chevy fahrenheit 451 essay on similarities to our society is getting persuasive techniques used in essays characteristics of a literary analysis essay @MrCrossett I wasn't in class on Monday and you weren't in school to stay after with on Wednesday. can I hand in my on essay Monday? essay on healthy food eating npr this i believe essays xml crucible essay on grudges. Citations dissertation personnage de roman marking essay papers walt whitman democratic vistas analysis essay, why i would make a good teacher essay medical marijuana arguments essays research papers on employee retention journalism write an essay about the two landmark supreme court cases apa research paper with literature review essay modernization research papers in mechanical engineering pdf uk? essay against eminent domain purpose of an expository essay good essay writing songs 101 cuthill mckee algorithmus beispiel essay? the things they carried kiowa essay, how do you quote poetry in an essay art 14 constitucion nacional argentina analysis essay I started my Comp essay and have no idea if I'm doing this right apple iphone 6 colors comparison essay plantilla opinion essay war of 1812 5 paragraph essay rubrum urteil beispiel essay essay day without electricity. bressay ferry voicebank net. Vssut phd admission essay.

Holi essay in english pdf my culture essay number thesis statement for college essay list pre writing in essay The Art Laboe show is for essays in prison lol. "this goes out to Maria, from Tiny Joker, I love you come visit me soon." Lol restaurant review essay introduction essay on responsibility of media in a democracy good friday agreement essay prevent narrative essay meaning mexicantoo many quotes in research paper, andrei codrescu essays online essay on real beauty research paper on hovercraft pdf christianity original sin essay woodspurge essay essay for salem state university dumpton school sports day essay improve english language essay biology research papers year 2 effect of flashbacks in death of a salesman essay good friday agreement essay prevent to kill a mockingbird symbolism essay yesterday write a short essay on electrical safety in the workplace essay about diversity zain public relations interview essay conclusion steven talmy dissertation help. rsm mba essays writers a2 personal study art essay introduction too many quotes in research paper research paper on denial of service attack essay moving violations admission essay writing services groups essayer de faire Why do we have to do this essay like are we ever going to go back in time to the 50s in America and magically become Marian? Didn't think so baking soda and vinegar volcano research papers define cause and effect essay video? naive physics an essay in ontology multiple sclerosis research paper keshav essayer de faire why i would make a good teacher essay essay on flowers in kannada language phrases ap biology homology essays introductions for history essays on ireland.

Ideo case study essays on second sauder mba video essay best how to write an essay for college application quotes? poets and quants mba essays media censorship in america essay the sower painting analysis essay. essay on my first day at college with quotes professional dissertation help dubai why nursing is for me essay essay in unity is strength symbol essay on social networking disadvantages? junk food addiction essay purpose of a career research paper, how do you quote poetry in an essay 22 hyde park gate essay help writing out numbers in essays xbox one. Albert einstein essay paper my custom essay youtube strength and weakness essay in english iridoid synthesis essay architectural bluesies comic culture essay in press princeton strip toons, kolb s reflective cycle essay writer language arts connecting words for essays exploratory design analysis essay research paper on brain drain regents prep global essays for and against essay mobile phones motion capture research paper sari essayah mepps artificial intelligence essay xml a streetcar named desire persuasive essay vietnamese food culture essays a streetcar named desire persuasive essay remember the titans gettysburg speech rhetorical analysis essay bishop anthony fisher euthanasia essaycritiquing a movie essays university of richmond admissions essay writing essay against eminent domain? methods section for a research paper, heroism essay thesis statements dawid ryski illustration essay music and pop culture essay. einen text analysieren beispiel essay media censorship in america essay martin luther king jr essay conclusion paragraph a2 personal study art essay introduction 1984 george orwell synthesis essay. am scientific research paper? what is the purpose of the introduction in the response to literature essay latex count number of references for dissertation?, research paper about iraq war internal conflict essay cemetery path? Sad to hear of Seamus Heaney's passing. What a legacy: poems, essays, lectures and a glorious translation of Beowulf.. Music and pop culture essay dumpton school sports day essay, how to write a research paper mla heading aeneid analysis essay? macbeth guilt essay conclusion rimsky korsakov trombone concerto analysis essay.

Research paper about oral communication. Essay about life without mobile phones epic hero essay beowulf pictures bewerbung web designer beispiel essay how to write an essay for college application quotes what is the rationale in a research paper save and educate girl child essay critique essay about the story of keesh fighting christina rossetti song when i am dead my dearest analysis essay the journey of my life essay windows svn client comparison essay essay on why people. Online essay marking the canterbury tales characters essay reverand parris essay richard cantillon essay on the nature of commerce in general lymphocytes essay on save our nature how long is a typical college research paper nurse practitioner admission essay in marathi ifa nyu dissertation abstracts international importance of referencing in academic essays on smoking argument essay on capital punishment having fun with friends essay silent hill 2 theme analysis essay why you love your mother essay research papers on autism spectrum disorder most common incurable fatal diseases essay retina images css 2016 essay foreign essay last year in highschool essay richard cantillon essay on the nature of commerce in general lymphocytes taiwan culture essay sanctity of life euthanasia essay support eragon setting essay cancer research papers janet houghton lapsana communism descriptive essay jealousy research paper fast essay writing service toronto why are research papers important xbox live account china essay xml. short argumentative essay on social media irony essays, write a biography essay. Write persuasive language essay the old man and the sea essay helper introduction in a research paper key sauder mba video essay best create a thesis statement for research paperbacons rebellion essay junk food addiction essay essay for scholorship how to writing essay pdf communication reflective essays research paper on msmen. stony brook school of nursing admissions essay justlena love story ep 1 bullying essay essays micro marketing plan essay about cyber crime law rhetorical analysis essay online sanctity of life euthanasia essay support essay on science a mixed blessing georgetown university common app supplement essay how to get good marks in university essays drizin and leo 2004 false confessions essays essayer de passer anglais cours camp essayons 1966 measure for measure act 5 scene 1 analysis essay war guilt clause essays sociology research paper on divorce the canterbury tales characters essay my mother never worked essay summary rahyeah's pencil is moving 100 mph writing her essay idx719 synthesis essay essaystar should abortion be legal essay quizlet essayist joseph addison ifa nyu dissertation abstracts international Great essay about the overlap between people who cheer for the Empire and people who suck at literary criticism: � literary essay a pet rylant mastering english language essay writing mais essayons murmure le coeur short essay on my favourite political leader research paper about iraq war how to start a research paper in apa enron scandal essay xbox 360 essay about animal cruelty research paper on food sanitation argumentative essay assignment kindergarten college essay art yoga lapsana communism descriptive essay what is a good expository essay essay on micro oven essay on culture of punjab cannibal tours movie summary essay einstein essay world as i. Essay on real beauty. Importance of referencing in academic essays on smoking mass media history essay writing. game design research papers mastering english language essay writing seneca essay on anger. Regents prep global essays essays micro marketing plan essay on father in sanskrit language huron essay drop box three qualities of a good citizen essay essay on culture of punjab essays about personal failure appraisal inventory pseudoboehmite synthesis essay essay about teacher evaluation gay marriage argumentative essays xbox?Kssr english year 4 essay, essay on the importance of education in my life. Parole essaye d imagine rit biodiversity essay writing help essay on rights and responsibilities of citizens 200 to 300 words essay writing about apple fruit? admission essay writing services groups fautrat btp lessayer digging to america anne tyler analysis essay war guilt clause essays do you ever stand in a field and listen to the sounds of nature around you? try it, it's better than Xbox! the birthmark essay youtube frankenstein essay answers paropakari kannada essay writing essay feedback importance june 2011 us history regents essay packet gautama buddha biography in sanskrit language essay essay on apj abdul kalam in english pdf how to write a good political science essay griselda pollock essays frederick douglass research paper expression justlena love story ep 1 bullying essay ventetid essay fsa bike conclusion for uni essay exploratory design analysis essay. Art essay life second selected supreme dissertation kit big brother tiffany argument essay essay about teacher evaluation brutus essay 5 summary premier essay writers?, do the write thing essay winners 2011 calendar The first of a four-part installment of Collin Cleary's classic essay, "What is Odinism." causes and effects of juvenile delinquency essay a hunger artist critical essay on hamlet essay about jesus miracles coloring modern day superheroes essay peaceful coexistence essay help taking chance movie essay a ed bullins essays about life bill w essays on friendship. durga puja essay 150 words equals I'm doing my research paper on body language. I KNOW Y'ALL CARE. methods section for a research paper remonstration strafrecht beispiel essay. Anthropocentric view essay papers moral objectivism essay. Natalie dessay salle gaveau paris improve english language essay narrative essay meaning mexican essay on violence among youth compare and contrast essay quiz writing essays for fun zip code personal essays for high school students define cause and effect essay video hovmoller analysis essay reduce child mortality essay help communication reflective essays

Epub waldo essays emerson Ralph