The 20 Best Phrases Of Henry David Thoreau

We review the work of one of the main references in American literature.

Henry David Thoreau (Massachusetts, 1817 – 1862) was a writer, philosopher, and thinker who made a great impact on the intellectual world of his time and for generations to come.

His most acclaimed books,  Walden (1854) and  Civil Disobedience (1848), in which he brilliantly exposed different moral foundations that would take root in the left-wing currents of the following decades.

Thoreau’s famous phrases and quotes

During his lifetime, T horeau opposed American slavery and promulgated ideas far advanced for this time of war, violence, and scarcity. In fact, characters as central in the history of the United States as Martin Luther King himself acknowledged being strongly influenced by the figure of the writer.

In today’s article we are going to know the best phrases of Henry David Thoreau, to get closer to his thought and his exceptional prose.

1. You are more aware than before of what is important and what is trivial. The future is worth waiting for!

A positive phrase from the great Henry David Thoreau.

2. There are times when all accumulated anxiety and effort are still in the infinite indolence and repose of nature.

There are different types of anxiety and, as Thoreau states, sometimes we are able to mitigate it in a true phase of catharsis.

3. I went to the woods because I deliberately wanted to live; face only the facts of life and see if he could learn what she had to teach. I wanted to live deeply and discard everything that was not life … So as not to realize, at the moment of dying, that I had not lived.

One of those  philosophical quotes that invite us to reflect.

4. The law never made men one iota more just; And because of their respect for them, even the best-disposed become agents of injustice on a daily basis.

In this appointment he reveals his anarchist side to us.

5. What a man thinks of himself, this is what determines, or rather indicates, his destiny.

Our  self-concept is more powerful than we usually think.

6. Mathematics does not lie, there are many lying mathematicians.

Statistics can always lead to erroneous conclusions if we do not know how to interpret them properly.

7. The richest is the one whose pleasures are the cheapest.

A very typical ode to austerity of the great Thoreau.

8. Almost all people live life in silent despair.

A sad phrase that contains a truth that lasts in our times.

9. How futile it is to sit down to write when you have not yet got up to live.

A reflection on the profession of writer. If you have not experimented, your texts may be totally empty.

10. There is more religion in man’s science than science in his religion.

What does science think of religious people?

11. Most men, even in this relatively free country, toil so much in unnecessary artifice and absurdly mediocre labors that they have no time to gather the best fruits of life.

Another phrase from Henry David Thoreau about superficiality and the ostentatious life.

12. Nine-tenths of wisdom comes from being judicious on time.

Famous phrase where he explains his notion of responsibility.

  • Recommended article:  “89 sentences about intelligence and knowledge”

13. Heaven could be defined as the place that men avoid.

A thought that leads us to reflect on good and evil.

14. There is no worse smell than that given off by corrupted goodness.

When a good man is corrupted, his honor wrought with years of honesty fades beyond repair.

15. Is democracy as we know it the last possible achievement in governance? Is it not possible to take another step towards the recognition and organization of human rights? There can never be a truly free and enlightened State until it recognizes the individual as a superior independent power from which derives its authority and its authority, and, consequently, gives it the corresponding treatment.

A political reflection that has generated rivers of ink from the 19th century to the present day.

16. It is as difficult to see yourself as it is to look back without turning around.

Our capacity for self-reflection is certainly limited.

17. No human being, passing the irrational age of childhood, will consciously want to kill some creature that maintains his life from the same land as him.

An animalistic phrase that perhaps nowadays is not surprising, but that in its time supposed a radical look at the life of living beings.

18. Time is nothing but the current in which I am fishing.

One of these reflections on time that leaves us thinking for hours.

19. The light that blinds our eyes is darkness for us. Only the day for which we are awake dawns. There are still many days to dawn. He’s just nothing but a morning star.

Were you looking for philosophical phrases? This famous Thoreau quote is for framing.

20. If you cannot convince a person of the bad thing he is doing, then try to do the good thing. People believe only what they see.

Ethics are predicated on day-to-day actions.

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