“By the words, necessary of life, I mean whatever, of all that man obtains by his own exertions, has been form the first, or from long use has become, so important to human life that few, if any, whether from savages, or poverty, or philosophy, ever attempt to do without it.”(Thoreau, pg.120)
In this section, Thoreau lays out the necessities of man: food, shelter, clothing, and fuel. He seems to view these things as things that make humans weak, especially those who are civilized. He compares the savages’ hardiness to the cold weather to the civilized man’s inability to be warm enough even with clothes. He also mentions the selfishness of humans who do anything to obtain their necessities of life, as he states, “with our beds,…robbing the nests and breasts of birds to prepare this shelter…”(Thoreau, pg.121). We are able to see Thoreau’s attitude toward materialistic items and simple life, in his response to comforts/luxuries. As he talks about society’s need of excess material, he puts himself apart from them, bringing up that as a philosopher one should live a life of simplicity (as he does).