I hate perfection. Unfortunately, in Economy by Thoreau, he perfectly explores the deepest parts of necessity and ultimately the human condition. His literary talent doesn’t give us a question, but makes us question ourselves and why we live the way we do. Thoreau is one of the best writers in the world, his work feels almost perfect in every way. More specifically, he perfectly describes why people think they need stuff, and why they actually don’t need very much.“All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.” (Thoreau, Economy)
Thoreau is a philosopher on par with Socrates. I think people are so blinded by his skillful writing that they forget the power of the things that he writes about. The main point of Economy is the idea of necessity, and how people are under the impression that they need more, even if they have plenty more than they need already. Thoreau writes about the positives of being alone, and how people seek out companionship more than they should, even if it overall makes them feel worse.
I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Thoreau writes about his own experiences and opinions, but he makes it easy to parallel with your own life. People say that the best art is the type that you can see yourself in, and that’s exactly what Thoreau was able to craft.
Economy changed my whole perspective on necessity and the value of stuff rather than experiences and knowledge. I originally thought that companionship would be one of my necessity’s, but now I realize living with someone 24/7 would be more draining than it would be helpful to the pursuit of knowledge. Of course, there are flaws with Thoreau’s ideas. He did have to go to town every day, as loneliness is a very real, and very dangerous problem. I think that companionship may be a necessity, but not at the same level as something like food or shelter. I think the most amazing part of Thoreau’s writing is how 160 years later, in the 21st century, I am still able to easily relate to how he writes, which may prove it to be some of the best writing about humans of all time. In my personal opinion, Economy is a masterpiece on the level of Shakespeare, Socrates, or Mark Twain’s writings.
Though I hate perfection, Thoreau isn’t perfect in the way you would think, not in his writing, but in his character and the way that he portrays himself. I respect him for his character and what he values and what he is willing to give up in the name of poetry. I think most poets like to put themselves or their views on the world on display, while Thoreau just allows you to peak, while really reflecting on yourself. A good poet tells, a great poet shows