Walden Best Quotes 💬

Henry David Thoreau’s mission with ‘Walden’ was to enact a spiritual and moral awakening in the minds of his audience. For this reason, his best quotes in the memoir tend to revolve around these themes.


Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau believed the only true way for the individual to fully feel alive is to pursue the freedom selfhood offers and to be spiritually and morally interactive with one’s internal and external environment. Some of ‘Walden’s’ best quotes are briefly analyzed here. 

On the Value of Truth 

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

Beyond rationality and logic, the search for truth is a foundational characteristic of philosophers, and Henry David Thoreau upheld this principle in ‘Walden.’ 

It’s fair to say that Thoreau dedicated his entire life to the search for truth and public happiness and satisfaction. This is evident in his constant critiquing of authorities and social controllers on policies and practices he felt were wrong, misleading, and detrimental to the people.

On the Importance of Books 

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.

The importance of cultivating the habit of reading books is one sentiment shared by the majority of great and influential authors, and Henry David Thoreau was in complete agreement with the idea. 

In ‘Walden,’ readers are thrilled when Thoreau talks about the timelines of his enlightenment – most of which involved reading and educating his mind, an endeavor that ushered him into the top one percent of the enlightened class of his generation.

Thoreau, wanted his students and readers to adopt a lifestyle of fervent reading and consumption of the wealth of knowledge every great book had to offer, and this doesn’t change for today’s students, readers, and fans of the greatest author. 

On Nature 

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.

In ‘Walden,’ Thoreau speaks a lot about the importance of resonating and bonding with nature, and if you research the life and works of Henry David Thoreau you’d find that his nature of writing and appraisal is one prevalent aspect of his daily living and writing endeavor. 

It is no wonder the author’s back catalog is replete with great quotes and expressions of nature and wildlife and things.

Thoreau, through his works, encourages readers to not hold back on living nor allow their lives to be limited by fear or regret. The author wanted people to be more adventurous with life and go beyond the status or laws of society to as far as doing things on their terms and making the most out of life and nature. 

On Dealing with Hard Times 

However mean your life is, meet it and live it, do not shun it and call it hard names.

Henry David Thoreau also contributed some of the best quotes on individuality – which is a movement that seeks to empower the individual with the ability to become independent and self-reliant. Some of the aspects he covered bordered on people’s hardships and struggles. 

With this quote, Thoreau offers readers a much-needed pep talk to face and defeat their problems and obstacles. Thoreau believed that running away from or evading one’s problems only makes one more powerful and above us. His approach was to face them head-on and tackle them. This way they either go away or become less of a problem than they initially were.

Everything Has a Price

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

Henry David Thoreau believed there’s a price to pay for everything in life. He upheld that no matter what your goals are, you have to be willing to sacrifice at least the time, effort, and consistency. Once this is done, nothing is stopping you from overachieving in the long run. 

In the same vein, if you read books, you gain knowledge, education, and enlightenment. But when you don’t read books, your knowledge is limited; you become ignorant, naive, and always in the dark. 


What is Henry David Thoreau’s advice for dealing with hard times?

Hard times, according to Thoreau, are to be faced and lived with confidence and boldness and not to be evaded.

What is Henry David Thoreau’s opinion on books?

Thoreau viewed books as the ‘treasured wealth of the world’ and encouraged his followers to make a habit of reading them. 

What approach does Thoreau take on life?

Thoreau’s approach to life is to make the most of it while also striving to enjoy it while it lasts. This is the same idea as Carpe Diem.

Victor Onuorah
About Victor Onuorah
Victor is as much a prolific writer as he is an avid reader. With a degree in Journalism, he goes around scouring literary storehouses and archives; picking up, dusting the dirt off, and leaving clean even the most crooked pieces of literature all with the skill of analysis.
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