The Keeper Of Nature Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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Both were also rejected because of their transcendental beliefs. John and Henry also re-opened the Concord Academy and were teachers. At the Concord Academy the students often favored John more than Henry. On January 1, 1842, what seemed a slight injury would lead to John’s death. John cut the end of his left hand ring finger with a razor. The cut was very slight and John bandaged it immediately, without washing the wound and it became severely infected. John contracted lockjaw and died on January 12, 1842 at two o’clock in the afternoon. He died in Henry’s arms at the age of 26. The next in order of birth was Henry. The third of the four siblings, Henry was born July 12, 1817. His younger sister, Sophia, was born on June 24, 1819 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. She attended

Miss Phoebe Wheeler’s Dame School and later studied Latin at the Concord Academy. She attempted to paint, but was not very good. She also Cali 4 engaged in making sketches, and probably her most famous sketch is of Henry’s Walden Pond cabin which is found on the cover page of Walden; or Life in the Woods. She taught with her sister in Roxbury, Massachusetts for a short while. Later in life, when her father and Henry died, she took control of the family leadworks business which her father and brother had run and was responsible for its operations. Around the same time she was taking care of the family business Sophia began editing Henry’s unpublished manuscripts for publication. Sophia was good friends with Ellen Seawall, and she corresponded with her on a regular basis.

When Sophia died, Ellen was willed $1000 and a scrapbook which Sophia compiled. The scrapbook was dedicated to the lives of her two brothers. Henry spent the majority of his time walking in and around the town of Concord, as well as many frequent journeys through the wilderness of Concord. Occasionally he would be found sauntering and conversing with his mentor and friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson or Ellery Channing. Some believe Henry went to live at Walden Pond because he was a hermit or a recluse or because he hated his fellow man, but this is not the case. Henry had a very special and sincere reason to go to Walden Pond; to honor his brother. Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great “Sage of Concord,” owned land adjacent to Walden Pond and allowed Henry to live at Walden Pond. Henry

went to Walden Pond to work on a book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers which would be a tribute to John Thoreau Jr. Henry stayed at Walden Pond for two years, two months and two days. Henry wanted to live deliberately and so he went and built a simple cabin at Walden Pond. Henry explains in Walden, Cali 5 “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Henry left his nearby town of Concord to live at Walden Pond on July 4, 1845, Independence Day. Some have speculated that this date represents Henry’s personal declaration of independence from society. Others have pointed out that July 4th was the day

before his brother’s birthday. By leaving for Walden on July 4th, Independence Day, Henry would have spent his first full day at Walden Pond on the anniversary of his brother’s birthday. This idea is further supported in Walden, “When I first took up my abode in the woods, that is, began to spend my nights as well as days there, which, by accident, was on Independence day, or the fourth of July, 1845…” Ralph Waldo Emerson provided Thoreau with the opportunity to complete his first work, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and the first draft of a Thoreau’s uniquely American work, Walden; or Life in the Woods. Walden, as it is more commonly and popularly known, is Henry’s response to a multitude of questions he received as a result of living two years, two

months, and two days in his small cabin in the woods at Walden Pond. Although many believe Henry was a recluse, Henry was no stranger to society while he lived at the Pond. He had frequent dinners with family and friends. Henry also had friends and the occasional curious neighbor visit him at his cabin. Henry explains, “I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.” Cali 6 In late July of 1846, a little more than one year into Henry’s excursion to Walden Pond, Henry needed to get his shoe repaired and as he was leaving the cobbler’s store, Sam Staples, the town constable, asked Henry to pay his poll tax. Henry was intentionally several years behind in paying his tax. When asked to pay up, Henry flat out refused to pay the poll