Henry David Thoreau


Thoreau’s report on his social experiment of solitude, simplicity, and self-reliance.

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Walden is one of the more famous transcendentalist tracts in modern American literature. First published in 1854, Walden is an account of Thoreau’s famous experiment in solitude: spending over two years alone in a cabin near the wilderness.

Walden is broken into sections that meditate on single themes: economy, reading, sounds, solitude, visitors, and so on. The style is complex, weaving back and forth between simple, home-spun prose and complex allegory, metaphor, and allusion. This makes Walden an interesting read because while it may seem accessible on the surface, it’s a book that requires deep and repeated reading to fully appreciate its many complexities.