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Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes.

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The first journal entry, on October 22, 1837, reads, "'What are you doing now? In his early years he followed Transcendentalism, a loose and eclectic idealist philosophy advocated by Emerson, Fuller, and Alcott.They held that an ideal spiritual state transcends, or goes beyond, the physical and empirical, and that one achieves that insight via personal intuition rather than religious doctrine.In their view, Nature is the outward sign of inward spirit, expressing the "radical correspondence of visible things and human thoughts", as Emerson wrote in Nature (1836).I see no other alternative, no other hope for you." Two months later, Thoreau embarked on a two-year experiment in simple living on July 4, 1845, when he moved to a small house he had built on land owned by Emerson in a second-growth forest around the shores of Walden Pond.The house was in "a pretty pasture and woodlot" of 14 acres (57,000 m On July 24 or July 25, 1846, Thoreau ran into the local tax collector, Sam Staples, who asked him to pay six years of delinquent poll taxes.I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending the abolitionist John Brown.Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience later influenced the political thoughts and actions of such notable figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.—the direction of this improvement points toward anarchism: "'That government is best which governs not at all;' and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." His face, once seen, could not be forgotten.The features were quite marked: the nose aquiline or very Roman, like one of the portraits of Caesar (more like a beak, as was said); large overhanging brows above the deepest set blue eyes that could be seen, in certain lights, and in others gray,—eyes expressive of all shades of feeling, but never weak or near-sighted; the forehead not unusually broad or high, full of concentrated energy and purpose; the mouth with prominent lips, pursed up with meaning and thought when silent, and giving out when open with the most varied and unusual instructive sayings.a nonprofit organization, and is now open to the public. He lived in Hollis Hall and took courses in rhetoric, classics, philosophy, mathematics, and science. According to legend, Thoreau refused to pay the five-dollar fee (approximately equivalent to 3 in 2017) for a Harvard diploma.

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