Not Quite Scum

In the opinion of journalist Kathryn Schulz, Henry David Thoreau does not deserve the centuries of praise he has garnered. Her opinion piece, “Pond Scum”, published by The New Yorker, outlines the evidence for her claims and asserts that readers have given the man too much credit, overlooking his more disturbing qualities and magnifying the […]

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Wait, Did I Read That Right?

Simple. Living. The American spirit, having engorged itself through the Industrialization of the Nineteenth Century, has always been wont for a dogma that blends our individualistic love of personal liberties with the the backcountry nostalgia of the settlement of Early America. While the United States is a secular nation, the Transcendental School of Thought purveyed […]

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Pond Chum

In her New York Times article “Pond Scum,” Kathryn Schulz launches a series of onslaughts against Henry David Thoreau. She criticizes nearly everything about him; from his writing to his philosophies and character. She labels him juvenile, demeaning his thinking and claiming his only appeal is to angsty teenagers. Additionally, she cannot overcome Thoreau’s apparent […]

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Thoreau’s Misanthropy

On July 12, 2017, Henry David Thoreau celebrated his 200th birthday. The celebration was marked by articles written in his honor, events held to educate and discuss him, and many of his admirers reviewing the well-worn pages of their copies of Walden. In his 200 years, Henry David Thoreau has affected many and inspired much. […]

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To Be and Not to be (Misanthropic)

In her piece, “Pond Scum”, Kathryn Schulz analyzes Henry David Thoreau through a series of short excerpts from his works. She questions why Thoreau is as “idolized” as he is. Thus, the focus of her argument lies in that he should not be as important of a figure as he is as he is more […]

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Schulz’s Not-So-Thorough Thoreau Analysis

In her article “Pond Scum”, Kathryn Schulz raises one fundamental question: Why do we continue to cherish the American writer Henry David Thoreau? Schulz is bewildered by our adoration of Thoreau, a man she believes has been placed on a pedestal, a position of which he is entirely undeserving. Schulz looks to place Thoreau in […]

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Thoreau, the Rather Pretentious Humanist

In her article “Pond Scum,” Kathryn Schulz explains her belief that Henry David Thoreau, the American transcendentalist and writer of Walden, hates his fellow man. Beginning with a description of his apathy toward dead children, Schulz sets the precedent for the average Walden enthusiast, or innocent owner of a ziffy quotation-covered mug, to hate the […]

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Misanthrope? Nope

In her essay “Pond Scum,” Kathryn Schulz makes a lot of claims about “Walden” writer and famed transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. Schulz interprets Thoreau as the narcissistic, misanthropic, hypocritical, and holier-than-thou, that can come fairly from the dry texts full of long sentences and philosophical musings. These interpretations can be reductive to Thoreau’s true nature, […]

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Modern Day Narcissus

Henry David Thoreau was a man of many talents. He was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. In “Pond Scum”, Kathryn Schulz adds a few bold titles to that list. She argues that, among many things, Henry David Thoreau was narcissistic, misanthropic, and hypocritical. As if that […]

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Thoreau and Privilege

In her essay, “Pond Scum,” Kathryn Schulz argues that the renowned American author, Henry David Thoreau, should not be revered to the extent that he is today. She explores several of his flaws, using examples of his hypocritical and misanthropic nature as well as his blindness to the privilege he had as a well-off, white […]

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Source: https://commons.digitalthoreau.org/sunygeneseohonr202s18/blog/