Summer Reading Journals Walden Journal Language: A. “Why level down to our dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense? ” -Humorous. Thoreau seems to be trying to imply that everyone views common sense in a different way. Why should we try to impress others with our own opinion of common sense, when common sense is viewed at a different perspective by each and every person. B. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. ” According to this quote, I believe Thoreau was conveying that a majority of men in his time are to busy dreaming and desperate for more.
These men could be working for what they want but are to busy living with this quiet desperation. C. “With respect to wit, I learned that there was not much difference between the half and whole. ” This quote means that no matter who you are, if you are smart, stupid, rich, or poor, you are just like every other person with a heart. Every man and woman is a whole person and there is no difference between those are considered a whole person and who is considered half of one. D. “It is not all the books that are as dull as their readers. ” -Humorous.
This quote tends to imply that while some people claim to be well-educated or very literate, they can still possibly be dull men and women. They don’t read for the inspirational reasons that others are looking for. E. “Time is but a stream I go a-fishing in… ” Thoreau means that his time on earth is limited, resembling the shallowness of the stream. However, the stream is ever-flowing, marking the eternity of his life after death. F. “Our life is frittered away by detail. ” I believe this quote represents the idea that we are missing out on our lives.
We are so consumed with details and materialistic objects, that we forget what’s real and what’s fake. We miss out on, or “fritter” away our lives. G. “As long as possible live free and uncommitted. It makes but little difference whether you are committed to a farm or the county jail. ” -Humorous. Thoreau means that we as people should not tie ourselves down with commitment. We need to live free and not hold back. To many people are eloped with materialistic objects and barely have any time with what they truly love.
Those that tie themselves down, are stuck in one place. Just like those in a jail cell. H. “The civilized man is a more experienced and wiser savage. ” the men that consider themselves “civilized men” are that likes savages, possibly even more so. Yes, the civilized man be have the luxurious life style, the brains, and money to live in high society, it doesn’t make him better than any other man. These civilized men rub it in the face of savages, when truly they all end up in the same place. Dead. I. I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than to be crowded on a velvet cushion. ” -Humorous. I believe Thoreau is saying that why share a “comfortable” velvet cushion with those that are materialistic when you could have a pumpkin that is the opposite. It relates to life. Thoreau would rather be poor than share his riches with an overplus of people. He would rather be poor, but living a nice, quiet life instead of in a rich, busy, metropolitan society. J. “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. ”- Humorous.
This quote means that the people who laugh off the old fashion trends are the first to follow the new ones. New fashions eventually become old fashions, making next generations chuckle like their ancestors. Thoreau is pointing out that even though we find cracks and faults in yesteryear, we are creating our own cracks and faults for future generations. K. “How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity. ” In this quote, Thoreau is trying to convey the idea that to many people in today’s world are followers and the orld needs more leaders. Followers take the same old worn path as everyone else and never leave their mark on the Earth. The leaders that chose to be different have so many roads to choose from, or options in life. Every once in a while, you will get such a great leader, that they create an alternative route in which thousands of people will then turn to next. II. Henry David Thoreau can be described in one word as, simplistic. He knew what the real meaning of “living” was.
He was out in the world to prove to people that they don’t need materialistic objects to live life to the fullest. Just like in his essay, Economy, Thoreau proved that he could live in the middle of the woods for 2 years and 2 months off of food, shelter, fuel, and clothing. Nothing else. He didn’t believe in following the beaten path or unnecessary trends. Thoreau is a very realistic man and did not allow himself to get distracted by consuming and unimportant distractions. This man was one of the few people to ever live that knew the real meaning of life.