What is Transcendentalism? How is it different than Romanticism? In March, 1845, Thoreau decided to build a cabin by Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts This his “personal experiment” His goal was to discover what he could about human nature Knowing what we do about Transcendentalism, why would being alone in the woods help Thoreau discover more about human nature? › Think about the relationship he’s trying to build and with whom › Think about how the transcendentalists view society and civilization as opposed to the wilderness Spends his days paying attention to the flora and fauna of the woods Cut off from society indefinitely Ends up being arrested for a night for not paying a tax › He also thinks government should be as hands-off as possible Why would the transcendentalists be against a controlling government? › Think about how they view society versus wilderness Thoreau goes to the cabin in March 1845 and leaves in September 1847 Much of his writing is about nature later in his writings › Earlier, he’s getting settled in › Later, he can pay attention to all of the changes happening in nature from season to season Where would you retreat to and what would you be studying about the world? Assuming you’re there in solitude for 2.5 years, what would you be worried about before starting your study? After the 2.5 years, what thoughts would you have about returning to society? Walden is one of many ponds Thoreau mentions in the piece However, this is the title of his book We know he writes the most about the thawing of this pond in the window Why would Thoreau name his writing after that specific pond? For each quote, answer the following questions › What does this quote mean? › Do you agree or disagree with this quote? › Why?