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Being Henry Thoreau In his book Walden Thoreau packs up ship for two years and heads out to live a life of experiment and solitude The ultimate purpose of his book is to make people aware of the lives they have submitted themselves to and likewise re-evaluate what they place more value in themselves or their possessions The question Thoreau asks the reader is whether they control their possessions or do their possessions control them Reading this book can be mentally stressful For some Thoreau is a genius with revolutionary ideas and philosophy For others he is just a hermit and social reject who was angry at the world and wanted his voice heard After reading the book I believe that Thoreau makes a good point in many cases and presents ideas that are worth attention Determining the effectiveness of the argument however is left to the individual Debra Polaski a proffersor of english literature at Louisiana State University would argue that Thoreau was an entirely original writer and philosopher not to mention convincing In an essay by Polaski entitled Woods and Walden she writes Thoreau took what was seen but not understood and gave it meaning Nature is where life begins and starts and Thoreau wanted to let society know of their ignorancePolaski As much as Polaski and others may think that Thoreau is the pioneer of individuality many more would argue that he is not In order to write an effective argument you must convince people to see your way Where Thoreau falls short is that he fails to set up credibility for himself His ideas and philosophies are practically identical to those created by Ralph Waldo Emerson So what exactly did Thoreau do next to living in the woods that hadnt been done by Emerson years before Thoreau was the son of a successful pencil maker graduated from Harvard in 1837 with respectable study in the classics and six languages and later
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