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Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built in the woods near Walden Pond, Massachusetts. Thoreau compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development. Part memoir, part personal quest, the book is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, where Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, surveyor, and historian. A leading transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Civil Disobedience, an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.