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A consumer society is based on the ability to create a desire for new products; to maintain this high level of dependence on material goods, people have to work more.These artificial cares, or desires for unneeded goods, diminished the time available for rejuvenating activities and quality interpersonal relations.
In a society of technological advancement and the increased use of machines, human beings were beginning to become more mechanized.
They were machines guided by the timetable of the market and robotic laborers doing unsatisfying jobs.
In , Thoreau writes, “The whistle of the locomotive penetrates my woods summer and winter, sounding like the scream of a hawk sailing over some farmer’s yard, informing me that many restless city merchants are arriving within the circle of the town, or adventurous country traders from the other side” (115).
In (1849), Thoreau describes a similar phenomenon, but with more emphasis on the railroad’s undesirable effects on the natural world: “Instead of the scream of a fish-hawk scaring the fishes, is heard the whistle of the steam-engine arousing a country to its progress” (87).
Despite his serious efforts to be an accomplished writer, Thoreau’s writings, generally, were not warmly received.
In 1849, he had to publish , which was published in 1854, was more warmly received, but generally throughout his life, people did not see Thoreau as an accomplished author.
In the twenty-first century, scholars have begun to take Thoreau more seriously as a philosopher. Tauber focuses on Thoreau as a moral thinker, and the essays in , a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of Thoreau’s life and texts; an example is Edward F.
In , Stanley Cavell addresses Thoreau as an analyst of language who works against skeptical foundations. Mooney’s article examining Thoreau’s wild ethics, which concludes with a summary of Thoreau’s ethics of care, or more accurately, Thoreau’s preservative care for all that is wild.
Thoreau’s emphasis on the individual’s encounter with wildness oriented his outlook on authorship and philosophy, education, ontology, religion, ethics, and politics.
The following sections of this article will show this through evidence provided in Thoreau’s literary and personal writings: his essays, books, journal entries, and letters.