How long did it take you to read "Walden?"?

The book interested me. I started it yesterday, and found Henry's writing to me quite complex and elaborate (not that I'm inadequate from intricate writing, it's just Henry has a very complicated and prolong writing behavior). I'm only on pg 30 momentarily.

How long did it take you to read this book? I'm fifteen - I'm reading the book for mine owns sake. It isn't required reading or such.

Additionally, I am familiar with the writings of other naturalists, essayists, poets, and authors - Tolstoy, Kerouac, London, Emerson, Twain, etc. - but Thoreau is very difficult. Is this bad?!

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  • 8 years ago
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    I don't think you should feel bad - many people who have an easy time reading Walden would have a hard time reading Emerson or Tolstoy.

    Walden is unique in that period of American writing because of its blend of naturalism, biography, and social commentary... the result is winding sentences and blocks of text. If a particular sentence is giving you trouble, try re-reading it and skimming the qualifying dependent clauses in the middle sentence. Focus instead on the main subject, verb and direct object (often separated to the beginning and end of his sentences, bookending all that "complicated, prolonged" stuff).

    One last thing - if you're on page 30, you may find it gets easier for you around 50-70. When Thoreau finishes "Economy," he's essentially done laying out what's wrong with society, and he commences detailing the rest of his own personal solution. The book is ultimately very optimistic and declarative, so stick with it if you enjoy it. Many people (especially your age) aren't interested or have had the book ruined for them by school, so I have a good experience reading.

    Source(s): B.A. in English; M.A. thesis on Thoreau; have read the book!
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