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Thoreau Henry David The battle was raging The two races were pitted against each other in a fight to the death The ground was already littered with the wounded and dying One pair was locked together as they tumbled over and over Both were relentlessly hanging on until one or the other would die As Henry David Thoreau watched this battle between Red and Black Ants he thought about life Henry David Thoreau grew up in Concord Massachusetts in the mid 1800s When he was about sixteen he went to Harvard for his college education Despite his Harvard degree he was considered an outcast because he didnt do anything useful with his life He wasnt interested in making a living in society He focused on discovering the facts of life Thoreau moved into the woods called Walden not far from his home He felt that being alone with nature would enable him to think and write more clearly One of the thoughts that came from his higher thinking was that Our life is frittered away by detail This quotation is important because it applies to all people in Thoreaus time and in modern times Thoreau is saying that all people rich and poor young and old fritter their lives away with detail instead of being concerned with the big picture The important thing to Thoreau was having time to think about how man fits in with nature and what his place on earth is Thoreau believed that man only needed the basics of food clothing and shelter Everything else was a luxury that took time to obtain Thoreau thought that time spent getting anymore than the basics was not time well spent Thoreau couldnt understand why people in his time would waste energy on things that could become very stressful For example the railroads and telegraphs were crisscrossing Concord They brought commerce but they also brought noise and pollution and cut up
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