Twenty “Why” Questions: 1. Why is Thoreau so adamant in that he thinks every author should be able to write about themselves instead of just about others? “…require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life…” (Pg. 1) 2. Why does he insist that the old are not anymore wise than the young? “…the old have no very important advice to give the young…” (Pg. 7) 3. Why does he think it is important to wake up every morning and view the dawn with your own eyes? “…it was of the last importance to be present at it.” (Pg. 15) 4. Why does Thoreau so frequently use animals in comparisons to actual people and their situations? “…the foxes their holes…not more than half the families own a shelter.” (Pg. 27) 5. Why does he think that a farm is not worth the toil? “…the encumbrances sometimes outweigh the value of the farm…” (Pg. 29-30) 6. Why does he put so much value into the seasons? “…feel the influence of the spring of springs arousing them, they would of necessity rise to a higher and more ethereal life.” (Pg. 39) 7. Why does Thoreau think life should be lived and not just ‘played’? “…not play life, or study it merely…but earnestly live it from beginning to end.” (Pg. 48) 8. Why does he value wisdom over materialistic things? “One piece of good sense would be more memorable than a monument as high as the moon.” (Pg. 54) 9. Why did he want to avoid trading? “Thus I could avoid all trade and barter, so far as my food was concerned…” (Pg. 61) 10. Why does he think someone would look poor with more things? “…the more you have of such things the poorer you are.” (pg. 63) 11. Why does he believe that to teach it needs to be for others and not for yourself? “…lost my time into that bargain… did not teach for the good of my fellow-men…for a livelihood…” (Pg. 66) 12. Why does Thoreau say “do not let your left hand know what your right hand does, for it is not worth knowing.”? (Pg. 75) 13. Why does he imagine buying all of the farms around him? “In imagination I have bought all the farms in succession…” (Pg. 78) 14. Why did he give the farmer back the ten dollars and the farm, saying his ten cents made him rich? “…I let him keep the ten dollars and the farm…” (Pg. 79) 15. Why does Thoreau view Walden so highly? “The small lake was of most value as a neighbor…” (Pg. 83) 16. Why does he try and renew himself every morning? “Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity…” (Pg. 85) 17. Why was Thoreau ashamed when he was reading of other’s travels? “I read one or two shallow books of travel…made me ashamed of myself…” (Pg. 97) 18. Why does he cherish books? “Books are the treasured wealth of the world…” (Pg. 99) 19. Why does he think everyone should read the ancient classics of their language in order to be knowledgeable? “…who have not learned the ancient classics in the language in which they were written must have a very imperfect knowledge…” (Pg. 100) 20. Why doesn’t he think his community is able to boast of being a part of the Nineteenth Century? “But consider how little this village does for its own culture.” (Pg. 105)
Chapter 1: Economy
Speaker: Henry David Thoreau is the speaker though he does include quotes from some renowned authors and texts, including Confucius, the Bible, and Sir Walter Raleigh
Occasion: He is talking of the economy in his home and beginning to buy his house in Concord, Massachusetts, while also including his beliefs that he wishes other to know. For example in the text at one moment he is talking of the costs of his home and how he sells his own grown goods to make money for himself to live off of and the next he is talking of the customs of some other nations. There really doesn’t seem to be a specific occasion he follows in all entirety.
Audience: Since Economy is such a large chapter, his intended audience might vary quite a bit. At