The major theme of the life without principle essay is the belief that there are no principles in the world. The writer believes that the only thing people do is act according to their desires and impulses. They believe that people can’t control themselves, which means they don’t have any principles.
Introduction: the Main Themes of Life without Principle
Life without Principle is a short work by American author and critic Henry David Thoreau. The essay was published in 1863, 15 years after Civil Disobedience, which is regarded as one of the greatest works by an American writer and critic. In conclusion, Life without Principle and other Thoreau’s works had a significant impact on many people across various ages and social strata. His writings were instructive to political leaders, who used quotations from Life without Principle in their day-to-day activities.
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Ordinary individuals, in their turn, felt the message to be highly personal and compelling. This is why Thoreau’s essay was recognized as a work that offered a program for every moral person. It would be impossible to summarize Life without Principle into a single subject. Rather, it’s a list of subjects and ideas illustrated by real-life instances. The writer’s character and personal experience are revealed through the latter.
Though it is difficult to pin down one specific thesis in Henry David Thoreau’s Life without Principle, the fact that this thesis had anything to do with money and its influence on the world is obvious. One of the most important phrases in Life without Principle, which depicts Thoreau’ s views and attempts, is “This world is a place of business” (Thoreau 4). The message of Life without Principle, as determined by examples that match our daily lives, is considered to be the main fact that is proven throughout the whole text through instances. I conduct an analysis of Life without Principle in this essay.
Main Message of Life without Principle
Thoreau is the author who does not want to stop at one message and expand on it throughout the entire paper. That is why, in his Life without Principles, he picks a strong and fascinating topic. He focuses on one main theme of Life without Principles: the world as a place of business, defining it as such. He tries to validate his chosen standpoint by way of numerous examples in order to prove that life without principles cannot exist.
The author points out that, in 2001, the United States and Canada signed a treaty called the Framework Agreement between Public Safety Ministerial Representatives of Five Continents (FAB-5). This agreement established that both nations would work together to establish maximum common security for their citizens. The objective behind this pact was to develop closer and better cooperation between police and fire departments from different parts of the world in order to meet local threats. He expresses concern about how we can effectively implement systems without taking into account what they represent or who they affect. He raises one of the most provocative analysis questions that impact our lives significantly, attempting to determine whether all those costs, both financial and spiritual, are truly worth it.
The essay’s goal is to demonstrate the manner in which money rules the world to its reader. The author accurately establishes his viewpoints relative to the reader from the start and acknowledges that he does not wish to “talk about people a thousand miles away, but rather as near home” as possible (Thoreau 2). This concreteization instills in the reader a sense of purity and distinctness in his efforts. He writes with a view of assisting, opening people’s eyes, and demonstrating how faulty or useless human endeavors can be. Life without Principle is primarily concerned with this issue.
John Adams’s essay “The Law of Civilization” (1776) is about how the natural qualities of people are crushed by materialism and commercialism. He wants to show how difficult human expectations can be, noting that “the methods through which you can obtain money almost without exception lead downward” (Henry David Thoreau, Life Without Principle, 8). The essay’s intended audience cannot be defined. One of the most unusual aspects about Life without Principle is that there is no specificity as to who the essay is intended for.
It may be a person who “goes to church to account for stock,” men who are “so thoroughly employed,” or a “gold-digger” with his love of gambling, among other things. (Thoreau 13, 10, 19) In other words, this essay might assist those who deal with money in some capacity; these are all people on the planet. The author confesses that humans become reliant on money unintentionally. Because everything is governed by dollars and cents, the writer cannot simply buy a blank book to write ideas inside it (Thoreau 4).
Maybe, instead of explicitly defining the target audience right away and giving every reader a chance to find out whether this source is interesting and beneficial to them, it’s preferable not to define it at once. The essay’s uniqueness comes from the author’s objectivity toward the reader as well as his or her amazing attention to the topic.
The goal of this essay is to satisfy the reader’s needs through a tight link with his or her demands. After reading this essay, a strong urge emerges to reconsider one’s personal life and place in the world. In my opinion, this was the intended impact of the paper. The ultimate goal of any essay is to persuade the reader that the author’s perspective is correct for this life. Thoreau’s objective in Life without Principle is to demonstrate how powerful and significant money can be, as well as how people’s chances are restricted by it.
One debtor may understand this essay and believe that his difficulties and challenges are insignificant in comparison to his spiritual life and attitude to life. This is why the author’s decision to utilize real-life instances and personal experience in this work is entirely appropriate. It becomes even more successful as a way of accomplishing the stated goal while also convicting the reader.
The essay’s effectiveness is rooted in the author’s demands. I genuinely believe that one of the first steps any writer should take is to have faith in his or her own ideas and thoughts. The selected contention is well made because the author utilizes as many different things as feasible to illustrate when his ideas are likely to rely on. He not only instructs but also explains why these lessons are essential by using powerful analogies that are so close to our daily lives.
“A man who goes for walks in the woods for half of each day is considered a loafer, but if he spends his entire day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is regarded an industrious and enterprising citizen.” (Thoreau 6) This quotation gives the best summary of Life without Principle.
This paper sought to conduct a study of Henry David Thoreau’s Life without Principle. This is one of the great works produced by the author. The essay analyzes the major idea of Life without Principle. Quotes and excerpts from the work are used as examples to illustrate Thoreau’s ideas. Messages in the book by Thoreau are touching, instructive, useful, amazing, and sometimes apparent. Many readers may find the book fascinating owing to its questionable nature.
In a world that is too reliant on money, everyone knows that he or she resides in because each citizen is a voluntary participant in this quest for profit. The essay’s significance stems from its link to common issues and human desires: people wish to be wise and cautious with their actions, but their attention and enthusiasm make them so blind and stupid, as well as being dependent on their product, money.
In Henry David Thoreau’s “Life Without Principles,” he begins by describing a lecture he went to where the speaker was not interested in the subject he was supposed to talk about, and instead focused on his payment rather than his lack of interest and knowledge for the topic. It was clear that he knew nothing about it and just wanted the money.
This compelled Thoreau to make one of his major points: individuals should not work merely for financial gain; rather, they should pursue something they care about and make a living from it. “Not only did he urge us to find occupations we enjoy,” Raymond notes, “but he also started to recognize that the enjoyment we get from our jobs is also influenced by social surroundings, such as employer-employee relationships and materialistic pressures of a consumer culture” (138).
Thoreau adds, When we talk of the earth and nature, we usually imply a certain period of time; but when we speak longingly of something else it is always understood. I’m not sure if the following part concerns you: nIf there is anything in Nature that wants to live and be free, it wants it to be companionship; for solitude may exist only where there is no human society to break its charm, and what does man value more than such charm? So he asks himself whether his life would gain strength from his death or weaken.
Thoreau offers an example of social circumstances that kept him from doing what he wanted. He discusses a man on the fringes of his community who wishes to construct a bank-wall and asks Thoreau for assistance. Thoreau explains that if he does it, the townspeople will see him as industrial, but if he does something else instead, they will see him as lazy and uncooperative.
On the other hand, according to Thoreau, people earn money in two distinct ways: they are idle or laborious. He implies that individuals may either create or preserve money; however, no activity can change that. People are either born into money and keep it by changing and doing nothing, or they become famous through no effort of their own.
By Thoreau’s logic, the only way to earn money as a writer or lecturer is to be well-liked at it. He is implying that people’s social ranks determine where they will end up in life and whether or not they will be successful.
Thoreau worked as a surveyor earlier in his life, and he used his former employers as an example of the avarice that people display when they first become successful and start earning more money. According to Thoreau, his employers liked for him to do subpar work since it took less time and allowed him to do more work, whereas the exceptional work that he desired to accomplish took too long. From 1850 until 1862, Thoreau became deeply involved in one career for an extended period of time.
It was only in the practice of surveying that Thoreau came to realize that the manner one works, as well as the output or service provided by one’s job, adds or detracts from the general good and individual worker benefits. “Thoreau realized that quality was preferable to quantity because he observed what happened when a single person set all of his energies toward working for himself rather than for others” (Raymond 140-141). His bosses and coworkers did not care about quality; they just cared about quantity.
Thoreau wanted to measure cord-wood more completely, but the measurer in Boston informed him that his employers did not want the wood measured correctly. The measurer said he was already too accurate for his employers. This is something that continues into today. Instead of rushing through their work just because they are paid well, people should live life for the love of it rather than for money, according to Thoreau’s lesson.
In the lesson, Henry David Thoreau advises that individuals should not strive to earn money and die, but instead should aim for a decent profession and excelling in it. He considered this so essential that he looked for it throughout his life. “Scholars have traditionally associated Thoreau’s vocation with his career as a writer, although the word avocation would be more appropriate since he earned more of his living through effort (as a teacher, handyman, surveyor, etc.) than through the ink of his pen” (Raymond 138).
Thoreau tried to excel at every job he took, and he never accepted second-rate work. In addition to encouraging his audiences not to work for money over happiness and fulfillment, Thoreau is appealing to employers not to hire someone who is simply looking for a paycheck rather than the joy of it. Both employees and companies alike value working for success and enjoyment.
The best thing Thoreau has to say is that men lie on their backs and talk about the fall of man, but they make no effort to get up. He is implying that people discuss the downfall of mankind while remaining inactive. This continues to be a major problem for humans. People even now complain about their situations, yet make no changes in what they are doing.
People complain about things on a greater level, but they never try to help alter the bigger picture in the same manner. People have complained about who became president after the presidential election of 2016, yet some of those complaining did not cast their vote. You can’t influence the planet without stepping into the equation and expressing your displeasure with it.
The primary message of the presentation was that one should strive to accomplish something they enjoy while also working for what they have rather than expecting it to be given freely. People shouldn’t let society dictate their work choices, because each person’s idea of fulfillment and success is different from another’s.
“As distasteful to him [Thoreau] as the prospect of gratifying the public’s demand for his lectures may have been, he was nevertheless resolved to forego the benefits of poverty and obscurity in order to do so” (Dean 285). Thoreau did fulfill society’s expectations, because he enjoyed lecturing and sharing his knowledge. The lesson here is that society is fickle.
It tries to mold people into what it desires them to be, but it can subsequently ostracize them. As a result of this, individuals who rather than attempting to satisfy society’s demands, which seem to be rarely met, do their finest to achieve what is best for themselves.
Thoreau was not the most popular lecturer in all locations, but he was in others. Thoreau’s exhortation to prioritize personal desires over financial requirements and gains attracted some criticism. “Thoreau’s work-not-for-money concept may have appeared strange in New Bedford, but it was far less so in Concord.”
At the same time that New Bedford was becoming a wealthy city entirely focused on whaling, Concord was in the midst of tremendous change, gradually shifting into modern agricultural capitalism. nJust as Thoreau was not a popular lecturer, no one can be liked by everyone; this emphasizes Thoreau’s notion that working to satisfy oneself is far more gratifying than attempting to satisfy others who may never be satisfied with anything.
Thoreau distinguishes between different types of labor that were prevalent during his time and honest work in “Life Without Principle.” Specifically, he spoke about wage labor. Thoreau claimed that laborers should be motivated by more than simply making money. He believes that a worker does himself an injustice by only pursuing monetary gain.
His actions mirror the reader’s imagination. When we read about a guy who plans to build a bank wall beneath his home, we can see this in action. He maintains that if he agrees to dig for three weeks with that person, he will be seen as a hardworking employee; but if he chooses to devote himself to more time-consuming work that may generate real money but not much money in society, he will be labeled an idler. His writing suggests the unutterable riches of strolling in nature or receiving an education.
While neither of these outcomes results in meaningful pay, Thoreau argues that wisdom is more valuable than gold. Even more so, he thinks that a human existence devoid of literary and philosophical pursuits is as degrading as slavery, and tying self-esteem and genuine value to hard work is a form of subjugation. A person will be liberated from wage labour only when he works because he enjoys what he does, not out of necessity to make a living. As written by Thoreau in his essay, true living can never be quantified in wages; rather, it’s determined by how a worker chooses to spend his time.
In “Life Without Principle,” by Henry David Thoreau, he discusses withdrawing from society as a whole and living life in accordance with our own standards rather than those of society. I think that Thoreau’s thesis statement is “If I were to sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most people appear to do, I am certain that there would be nothing more worth living for for me.” Thoreau talks about how individuals make their money and the many insignificant activities they undertake just in order to earn more money. He thinks we should resist the temptations of money and society.
I concur with Thoreau’s ideas in “Life Without Principle.” After all, what is the point of having money if you aren’t grateful? Today, society promotes a vision of the ideal life. However, the truth is that most people will never achieve such a lifestyle. People still attempt to reach it, even as they do so in various ways. People labor every day for their livelihoods, some methods being more controversial than others. In the end, are those individuals truly satisfied with their lives?
I don’t think money equals happiness. I am no less happy if my bank account has one hundred dollars or a thousand dollars in it. Don’t get me wrong; money is a wonderful thing to have and an exciting thing to spend on. However, material goods are merely that: material. I’d rather spend money going out with my pals or traveling abroad than buying a two-hundred-dollar pair of shoes. Things wear down over time, but memories endure forever.
In my ideal world, I think that this mentality would be achievable. One in which no one was concerned about what others thought of them or society’s judgment; a world in which we didn’t rely on our bank accounts to be happy. We do, and it is a big bummer.
This is all due to the fact that our generation has been raised on technology. Social media and television have a significant impact on this as well. We spend so much time attempting to be like our favorite celebrities, as well as trying to gain what they have. We forget to be genuine with ourselves, and do what we love.