In the Thicket of Thoreau

“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of time. To be in company, even the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers,” (pg 216).

In this quote Thoreau describes how he prefers to be alone than with other people. From his sentence structure it is clear how peaceful Thoreau finds solitude. To expand on this, the second sentence is longer and is followed by the simple sentence “I love to be alone.” This sentence clearly articulates his stance. The simplicity of the sentence has a powerful impact on the reader. The reader just read about how exhausting people are, but now can take a break and just breathe with Thoreau on how easy it is to be alone. Thoreau also expresses how much he likes to be alone with his word choice. The words “wholesome” and “companion” describe being alone, and “wearisome” and “dissipating” describe being with people. “Wholesome” and “companion” bring to mind simple calming things while “wearisome” and “dissipating” makes one think about tedious, horrible tasks. Personally, I find this passage to be very true, especially the last sentence. I would go so far to say that a person does not need to go abroad to be among men and feel alone, but just be with people who do not understand him/her. Feeling alone can be synonymous with feeling misunderstood. Perhaps, Thoreau did not like people because he thought they did not understand him, and only when he was alone did he feel understood.