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Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau Lecture EssayHenry D Thoreau gave an intellectually stimulating lecture His political and environmental stances enchanted the audience His ideas are indicative of self-reliance simplicity and appreciation His delivery invited each listener to actively enjoy what he said Thoreau presented his lecture so that the audience had no choice but to ponder and think about what he said He was passionate in what he said as his values and views leaked into the audience like a stream branching out from a river The following is what I took away from his speechThoreau began his speech by addressing his purpose of living alone-a word of discussion in his lecture- and in the woods of Concord I quoted a passage that he derived from his own book under the assumption that it was something of significance either to the audience or himself In either case his statement would reveal a part of Thoreau that was of importance to him I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers A man thinking or working is always alone let him be where he will p 123 Thoreau paused after he read My initial response to this statement was to think about it So solitude is physically a friend to you He answered my question before I could question him In the absence of people he had befriended the seasons He continued to speak of his Natural friends like the birds who sang for him and the rain which entertained him Thoreaus idea of solitude was that solitude is simply a different state of mind Instead of the events and actions of other people he discerned that ones own actions thoughts and imagination were of equal value As he spoke I began to appreciate what he said His digression from
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