Solitude and Companionship

“Many a traveler came out of his way to see me and
the inside of my house, and, as an excuse for calling,
asked for a glass of water.” In chapter six, on the passage that begins with that sentence, Walden writes about how some half witted men came to him and his disinterest in engaging. This is the main message of Visitors, Walden’s seeking of solitude with his occasional curiosity in interesting people.

One Reply to “Solitude and Companionship”

  1. Do you think Thoreau has a sort medium between solitude and society? Or does he completely reject society in favor of solitude in nature? I believe that he still does value interaction, but to a lesser extent than I think he sees society as demanding of everyone. To him, a nice small group of people is refreshing once in a while, but he prefers a single companion when he needs “society” and prefers even more his own solitude in nature. I think his reference to acquaintances requesting a glass of water as an excuse to stop by his dwelling is clever in the sense of Thoreau appreciating those wanting to see him and joking of the lengths they will go to do so. It demonstrates he enjoys seeing his friends and acquaintances, yet when they leave he again appreciates the value of solitude and leaving space for one’s own thoughts.

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