Reading Questions "Where I lived, What I lived for"



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Henry David Thoreau



Walden

Reading Questions



“Where I lived, What I lived for”

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  • What does it mean to “live deliberately”? Or to “suck out all the marrow of life”? What is it that society does to man that Thoreau is trying to get away from?

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  • Explain why Thoreau says he could “easily do without the post office” or the newspaper? What would you compare these to in our time?

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  • What nature metaphor does Thoreau use to explain his perception of Time? He says, “Time is but a…”What does he say he wants to spend his time trying to understand?

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Solitude”

  • How does Thoreau explain to others the question regarding his loneliness during his stay at Walden Pond? How does his answer reflect the teachings of Emerson?

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“The Pond in Winter”

  • What does Thoreau learn from digging under the ice of the frozen pond and what does he see this as a model of?

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“Spring”

  • List the pairs of opposites that Thoreau contrasts in this section. Why does he do this?

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“Conclusion”

  • Why does Thoreau leave the woods? Is this a valid reason? Remember back to “Where I Lived, What I Lived For”—why did Thoreau go to the woods? According to “Conclusion,” did he achieve his purpose?

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  • What does it mean to “hear a different drummer”?

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  • What similarities between poverty and wealth does Thoreau find? What benefits of poverty does Thoreau see?

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  • If the “sun is but a morning star,” what do you think Thoreau’s opinion about mankind is? Are we just in our infancy as well? Who or what is our best teacher?

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