Henry David Thoreau's Walden: Summary and Analysis


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Why did Henry David Thoreau choose to spend two years in a cabin?

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1. How did Thoreau make money during his time near Walden pond?

2. As a transcendentalist, why was Henry David Thoreau not interested in travel?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Poet, philosopher and writer Henry David Thoreau was part of the 19th century Transcendentalist Movement which sought a deeper intellectual and spiritual life by seeking truth through introspection and kinship with nature. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods is his account of his personal quest to find that richer inner life. This quiz/worksheet combo will help you understand Thoreau's beliefs and how Walden became a uniquely American book at a time when the United States was trying to establish a clear national voice free from European influences.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments you'll be tested on:

  • Thoreau's goals during his time at Walden Pond
  • Core ideas of Transcendentalism
  • Thoreau's method of earning money while living on Walden Pond
  • Misconceptions about Thoreau's life in the woods
  • Thoreau's mentor who owned the land at Walden Pond

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet lets students practice the following skills:

  • Information recall - access your knowledge on Henry David Thoreau and his book, Walden
  • Defining key concepts - make sure you can accurately define main ideas such as transcendentalism, introspection and self-reliance
  • Making connections - examine Thoreau's understanding of the link between nature and spirituality
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to explain the themes and ideas that Thoreau explores in Walden

Additional Learning

To learn more, review the accompanying lesson on Henry David Thoreau and Walden. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Understand the structure and themes of Walden
  • Define Transcendentalism
  • List some of the activities Thoreau describes in Walden
  • Understand Thoreau's reverence for nature
  • Describe the social forces and expectations Thoreau rejects