"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 so 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 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"(Thoreau "Where I lived and What I Lived For").
Henry David Thoreau desired to live his life to the fullest.He planned to live so by living sparsely.When he says he wants to "put to rout all that is not life…and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms,"(Thoreau "Where I Lived and What I Lived For") he speaks as a gourmet chef preparing a steak.
The chef cuts the fat from the edges and marinates it in the finest wine, the most pure wine life has to offer.When he puts it to flame- the "meanness" of life- he removes impurities and excess fat, making nourishment fit for the divine.Thoreau himself asserted, "Most men think differently than myself" (American Literature 172).Indeed, many men had sought wealth and fame in order to gain satisfaction.Thoreau sought a life lived to the bare minimum in order to gain spiritual fulfillment.
Henry David Thoreau's parents prepared him to live a life dedicated to science in its truest form: the search for truth.When the young man left home for his education at Harvard College, he learned, never liking, the ways of the World.The bond, and the breaking of that bond, with his brother John Jr. taught him a strong love and empathy for the World.
His mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, imparted to him the views of the Transcendentalist Movement which he launched in the early 1800's.Thoreau became involved in the movement that swept the New England R…