Walden Writing Prompt

Shelter & Clothes

”All good things are wild, and free.”

-Henry David Thoreau






Is less really more? “Consider first how slight a shelter is absolutely necessaryThoreau believes that a meaningful life is the one with the least possession; however  you can get by with the bare necessities but life would be much easier with aiming above the basics.


        But after further review and after reading “Clothes and Shelter” a second time it made much more sense.The “Clothes” story didn’t make that much sense. I had no idea what Thoreau meant by “On the whole, I think that it cannot be maintained that dressing has in this or any country risen to the dignity of an art.” This made made no sense to me but I will ask Fitz in class what this meant. Thoreau takes his reader on a small adventure every chapter. Thoreau also has a way of turning a somewhat interesting/ boring story into a wild adventure by using an abundance amount of adjectives. In the shelter chapter I think it starts if with a nice sentence “Consider first how slight a shelter is absolutely necessary.” This is a great first sentence that introduces the theme to the chapter.

           Thoreau casts a very narrow theme in the start of the “clothes” chapter. Thoreau uses his view and talks about it by using an example of clothes and shelter.Thoreau talks a lot people having fancy clothes just because they can afford it. Although it is a short chapter he does dive into the essentials and captures what necessities to life really are. Thoreau criticizes ever new generation by saying “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.” By saying this he means that people like to follow the current trends while making fun of the old ones that those same people used to wear.

         I think that Thoreau is completely wrong in stating that you don’t need a good shelter. Often time people spend most of their time in their so called “shelter”. From what i have seen the more expensive an object is the better and more functional it is. I think that everyone one would rather press one singular button to get rid of their waste in the bathroom in comparison to digging a hole of going to an out house. And when Thoreau says “In the savage state every family owns a shelter as good as the best,” I don’t think this is true because there are many people well off getting a cheap house and being comfortable where they live.

        First coming into reading this I thought what could this 100 plus year old man could teach 14-15 year boys . Turns out he couldn’t teach me much considering that I think he was wrong but, everyone has a different way of learning.


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Timmy Smith

This was really good. I liked how you started off with a question to the reader to make them think ,and then te rest of your piece was very well written. Great job.

Fru nkimbeng

Good job cliff. I really like when the writer starts off with a question which is exactly what you did. I love your conclusion Also I felt the exact same way. No way some 2000 year old professor could teach me things but turns out we were both wrong.

Ryan Lewis

I really liked how you used a question at the begging in do your essay. It was very interesting. Good job.


This is well done. You had good quotes that backed up your point. I think a lot of people can relate to your wiritng because lot Thoreau’s harsh words.

Michael L

Cliff you have a real winner in this one. It was very interesting and i loved it, especially the conclusion which is very funny.


This is a great piece starting off from the beginning with a quote really bringing the reader in. You bring up some great points which are supported by your other quotes, nice job

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