Criticizing a Man of History

English Lesson 135

Henry Thoreau Writes

One defect about Henry David Thoreau’s famous book Walden, is that Henry Thoreau completely omits any mention of his early life, education, or family. I think that if an individual is willing to spend time to read an autobiography, they should want to know  more about the author’s childhood and family, this Thoreau did not offer. Failure to provide such information causes an autobiography to lose a great deal of value. The reader misses the most influential and psychological important time of every authors life…his childhood and early years.

If Thoreau had included more background information about his life and character, the autobiography would have marginally improved. Even if he had done this the rhetoric and thought processes Thoreau presented would still have been illogical and elusive. At least the reader would have a better comprehension of why Thoreau believed and wrote about his absurd ideas.

When Henry was Little

There are other reasons to express the importance of ones childhood. In the younger years events that one might experience can cause radical ideas to form later in life. This means that if Thoreau had spent more time revealing his life as a young man,  the reader would have a better understand of why Henry happens to think the way he does.

Thoreau also took note of nothing except matters which pertained to himself. He was selfish and prideful, never taking anything seriously. He spent little time discussing important topics that he experienced. Instead he wrote about frivolous topics which interested only himself.

K.I.S.H. (Henry)

The ideas that Henry’s built through out his lifetime are presented obscurely in his book. He fails to organize his thoughts so that one might understand the grounds on which his arguments stands. Thoreau contradicts himself constantly through out his narrative, causing a reader to be left puzzled and confused about what Henry thought about certain topics of his day. An example of this is that Thoreau expresses the importance of only reading manuscripts in their original copied language. He gave reasons as to why he believed this, but then followed later on by expressing how he thought all manuscripts should actually be translated into all languages for all people to read. Doing this can leave readers confused and uncertain as to what he actually thought and believed.

Henry David Thoreau spent a great deal of time writing his book, but surprisingly his efforts held no value, and made for a uneventful book. Maybe if he had done a better job of keeping his ideas organized and simple, his audience would have a more enjoyable time learning about his life and accomplishments. 

~KT

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