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Walden & Civil Disobedience — Reader Q&A

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Walden begins with the narrator informing his audience that this book was written in answer to questions posed about his two-year stay at Walden Pond. He hopes to explain the spiritually rich life he enjoyed and, at the same time, through presenting the example of his own life, teach his readers something about the shortcomings and possibilities of theirs. While living at the pond, he had the opportunity to view society from the outside and see that, in contrast to his happy situation, most men "lead lives of quiet desperation. He can only regretfully conclude that modern man, obsessed with material gain, has "not leisure for a true integrity. The narrator's stay at Walden taught him that no one need resign himself to a dreary, drudging life; no man has to be "so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked. They need take only the first step toward perfection: self-criticism. For all men, there is hope if they are willing to take a critical view of their lives, as the narrator has so acutely done, and then set about reforming themselves.

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This page requires JavaScript , which you don't seem to have. Please try a different browser. Home Literature Walden Quiz. Walden by: Henry David Thoreau. Themes Motifs Symbols Key Facts. Important Quotations Explained. Full Book Quiz 1.

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On what pond does Thoreau live on the shore? How long does Thoreau live at Walden Pond? What is Thoreau's shelter at Walden Pond? In total, how much does it cost for Thoreau to build his house? View all Lesson Plans available from BookRags. Copyrights Walden from BookRags. All rights reserved.

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  1. Here's what people have asked and answered about working for and interviewing at Walden University.

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