Walden – Economy


Henry David Thoreau’s famous Walden is a staple of classic writing which every student should read. In his first chapter, Economy, Thoreau explains of how he survived off of much less money than most people at the time used. In this, he also explains how much less is actually needed than people say is needed. He brings up interesting concepts as relative necessity and if clothing is actually needed as it was created by humans and other animals have no need for it.

In the first portion of the chapter, Thoreau talks about how society has made things necessary, such as clothing. This can be applied to modern times with things such as cell phones and internet. I recommend that every student read this part of the book at some point as it will help them think better about their own being and finances. Thoreau’s views on necessities and how to enjoy life as much as possible still have importance in a society full of people stuck to their phones and working only for money.

In the second half of the chapter, Thoreau explains his personal finances while at Walden Pond. In this section, he only specifically explains how he survived on the low amount of money he said he could. He shows himself as a real-world example of the ideas proposed previously. This part of the book is not as necessary to read and I do not recommend reading it as it does not include ideas that can easily be applied to this day and age.

Overall, Walden’s Economy should be read by all students before exiting high school, at least the portions such as the first part of economy in which Thoreau talks more philosophically as opposed to talking about himself.


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