Would Walden Have Been a Better Book if Thoreau had Supplied More Background Information on His Life

Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, has been one of the most confusing autobiographies I have ever read. I have read more than quite a few autobiographies during this school year; some were incredibly intriguing and interesting, others were works of literary art, and some were downright confusing. But Walden, by far, has been the most confusing autobiography I have read so far. To begin with Thoreau constantly contradicts himself in the autobiography. If he makes a point in the book probably somewhere in the chapter he will contradict that point. This is incredibly irritating to read, and also very confusing. Also Walden is not exactly a traditional autobiography, it does not really contain details on Thoreau’s background, it only contains details on his life when he lived on Walden pond which was a pretty short period of time in his life. But if Thoreau had supplied more background information on his life in the book, would his book have been a better autobiography?

To make this answer for the question above short: no, Walden would have not been a better book if Thoreau had supplied more background information on his life. Why do I think this? First of all Walden is not a traditional autobiography. What I mean by a traditional autobiography is that, a traditional autobiography contains the story of a person’s life from day one, to the time that the person is writing the autobiography, which is usually the end of a person’s life. Walden, on the other hand is an autobiography that documents Thoreau’s life on Walden pond, which is a pretty short period of Thoreau’s life, only around two years. Thoreau only wrote his autobiography to share about his life on Walden pond, not to share the rest of his life story.

Also to note, Thoreau did a pretty confusing job on recounting his life on Walden pond. He didn’t provide a whole lot of information on his life on Walden pond, and instead mainly wrote about unrelated points that contradicted each other. Overall the message Thoreau wanted to convey was very unclear in Walden. So if Thoreau had included some background information on his life, I would assume that the book would probably be just as confusing, from what I have read so far.

In conclusion, the book Walden, would not have been a better book if Thoreau had supplied some background information on his life. The reason(s) why I believe this is because the book itself is just about Thoreau’s life on Walden pond(the title clearly states this), and not about his entire life story. Another reason why I believe the book would not be any better is the fact that Thoreau writes in a confusing style, which in short means that no matter how much background information he included, the book would most likely be still confusing. Hence these are the reasons why I believe the book would not be any better if Thoreau had included some background information on his life.


19 thoughts on “Would Walden Have Been a Better Book if Thoreau had Supplied More Background Information on His Life

  1. This was a really good essay! I agree, Walden is super confusing and contradictory. It was my least favorite autobiography I read for this course by far.😣😂

    Like

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