Thoreau's View on Charity, Philanthropy, Life, and Friendship

Topics: Charity

Annotated Bibliography

Brown, James Patrick. “The Troubled Ocean: Charity, Sentiment, And Thoreau’s Global Consciousness In “Cape Cod..” Concord Saunterer 17.(2009): 1-26. Humanities International Complete. Web. 9 Oct. 2013

The author uses examples from Thoreau’s writing to show how Thoreau felt regarding charity and philanthropy. For example, when he analyzes Thoreau’s view towards the so-called philanthropic acts of slavery, he uses the evidence from the text that states, “I speak for the slave when I say, that I prefer the philanthropy of Captain Brown to that philanthropy which neither shoots me nor liberates me,” and explains how this shows how he prefers the charity of the northerners to the philanthropy of the southerners.

While this source will not be the most useful source I use when writing my paper, I think it will provide some use. While it does not analyze his opinions of charity and philanthropy in Walden, the article analyzes the opinions he held shortly after publishing it and shows how they changed slightly over time after leaving Walden Pond.

Salt, Henry S. Life, and Writings of Henry David Thoreau. London: W. Scott, 1896. 

In this book, the author discusses life in great detail, rather than focusing on an analysis of his literary works. However, Slat did use several of his literary works as evidence in this book, as well as letters and research did by other literary critics and biographers. I believe that I will use this source a great deal in my paper, because It discusses in great detail Thoreau’s life before, during, and after living at Walden Pond, as well as the reason behind some of the decisions Thoreau made.

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This includes why he choose to live at Walden when he wanted to get away from society.

Smith, Harmon. My Friend, My Friend: The Story of Thoreau’s Relationship with Emerson. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999. 

This book discusses the friendship between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau and how they influenced each other’s lives and writing. The evidence used by the author is research from other autobiographers, letters, and matters of public record. He also analyzed how the wrwriter’siterary works changed after their friendship formed and how their writing was influenced as the relationship developed. That being said, this is not a piece that tries to paint their friendship as homosexual repression, but as a very strong bromance. This source is one that I will utilize a great deal because the whole reason that Thoreau was able to live at Walden Pond was that Emerson told him he should and then bought the land and gave it to him. This fits in perfectly with my theme of philanthropy and answers my earlier question of whether or not Thoreau experienced some great act of philanthropy before writing Walden.

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Thoreau's View on Charity, Philanthropy, Life, and Friendship. (2022, Jun 18). Retrieved from

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