Henry David Thoreau Literary Achievements:
Lines from "Walden":
"I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion."
"As long as possible live free and uncommitted. It makes but little difference whether you are committed to a farm or the county jail."
"Our life is frittered away by detail."
"Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures."
More Lines from "Walden":
"What is man but a mass of thawing clay?"
"Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? 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."
Lines from "Civil Disobedience":
"Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison."
"Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything which was."
Henry David Thoreau: A Brief Biography:
Along with Emerson, Thoreau was a part of the Transcendentalist movement. He was never able to make a living with his writing, though his essays, poems and other works fill some 20 volumes.
Thoreau's works have influenced some of the greatest figures. "Civil Disobedience" influenced influenced Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. But, his travel and excursion books are also notable. Because of his explorations in "The Main Woods," "A Yankee in Canada," and "Cape Cod," Thoreau has been called "the first environmentalist."
Of course, the work that is usually associated with Thoreau will probably always be "Walden." In this work, he lives apart from society to find himself in a simple existence. He wrote:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary."
List of Works:
- "A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers" (1849)
- "Civil Disobedience" (1849)
- "Slavery in Massachusetts" (1854)
- "Walden" (1854)
- ""A Plea for Captain John Brown" (1860)
- "Excursions" (1863)
- "Life Without Principle"
- "The Maine Woods" (1864)
- "Cape Cod" (1865)
- "Early Spring in Massachusetts" (1881)
- "Summer" (1884)
- "Winter" (1888)
- "Autumn" (1892)
- "Miscellanies" (1894)
- "The Journal of Henry D. Thoreau" (1906)