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Word Count: 1,171
Virtue is in the Middle Simplicity simplicity simplicity The one word that sums up Henry David Thoreaus answer as to why he went to the woods Such a significant phrase was uncommon and especially outdated during the peak of the Industrial Revolution when he wrote it With light bulbs replacing candles and locomotives replacing horses life for the average man began to get easier Or did it In his essay Why I Went to the Woods Thoreau explains that material inventions not only fail to simplify our lives but actually complicate them Indeed material goods might ease one aspect of our life but at the same time they often tie up the rest of our lives Take a dad who buys a new cell phone On the one hand he can make calls a lot easier on the other his boss can reach him a lot easier while the dad is at his sons baseball gameHowever Thoreaus view seems to be the extreme and I believe he goes too far I agree with Aristotle that virtue is in the middle Thoreau believes that our lives are too cluttered with detail and that we should reduce life to its lowest terms - namely we should keep our activities few He says An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes and lump the rest Railroads may seem like an advantage but to Thoreau they are not worth the amount of work put in to build and maintain them While railroads can get us from point A to point B faster their net effect is to reduce not increase mans free time or his happiness Thoreau says that we do not ride upon the railroad it rides upon us meaning that rather than the railroad being servant to man man has become a slave to the railroad Thoreaus view is extreme A train
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