Thoreau Essays

Thoreau Essays-1
During his stay with Emerson, Thoreau developed ambitions of becoming a writer and got help from Emerson in getting some poems and essays published in the Transcendental journal, .But life in his parents' home held problems for the budding writer.Work in the pencil factory was tedious and tiring, and, since his mother took in boarders, there was little quiet or privacy in the house.

During his stay with Emerson, Thoreau developed ambitions of becoming a writer and got help from Emerson in getting some poems and essays published in the Transcendental journal, .But life in his parents' home held problems for the budding writer.Work in the pencil factory was tedious and tiring, and, since his mother took in boarders, there was little quiet or privacy in the house.

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Nature, literature, history, are only subjective phenomena." For the Transcendentalist, the secret of successful living was to hold oneself above material concerns as much as possible and focus on the spiritual.

Thoreau must have imbibed Transcendentalism through almost every pore during his two years living with Emerson, though he would modify it to suit his own temperament by granting nature more reality than Emerson did.

Thoreau's family participated in the "quiet desperation" of commerce and industry through the pencil factory owned and managed by his father.

Thoreau family pencils, produced behind the family house on Main Street, were generally recognized as America's best pencils, largely because of Henry's research into German pencil-making techniques.

In 1838, he decided to start his own school in Concord, eventually asking John to help him.

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The two brothers worked well together and vacationed together during holidays.Emerson was by then already one of the most famous American philosophers and men of letters.Since Thoreau's graduation from Harvard, he had become a protégé of his famous neighbor and an informal student of Emerson's Transcendental ideas.During these two years he also spent one night in jail, an incident which occurred in the summer of 1846 and which became the subject of his essay "Resistance to Civil Government" (later known as "Civil Disobedience”).That same year he also took a trip to Maine to see and climb Mount Katahdin, a place with a much wilder nature than he could find around Concord.Furthermore, Thoreau found himself temperamentally unsuited for three of the four usual professions open to Harvard graduates: the ministry, the law, and medicine.The fourth, teaching, was one he felt comfortable with, since both of his elder siblings, Helen and John, were already teachers.He was hired as the teacher of the Concord public school, but resigned after only two weeks because of a dispute with his superintendent over how to discipline the children.For a while he and John considered seeking their fortunes in Kentucky, but at last he fell back onto working in his father's pencil factory.Transcendentalism was an American version of Romantic Idealism, a dualistic Neoplatonic view of the world divided into the material and the spiritual.For Emerson, "Mind is the only reality, of which all other natures are better or worse reflectors.

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