Thoreau relates “Money and Work,” to the topic from the last section by telling us about his experiences after leaving college and working for the first time in his life. He says that it was an extremely dull and unsatisfying thing to do, and that doing regular work wasn’t the way he was going to spend his life. “Spending of the best part of one's life earning money in order to enjoy questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it, reminds me of the Englishman who went to India to make a fortune first, in order that he might return to England and live the life of a poet.”
Thoreau then lets us know about his viewpoints on the actual value of money; that it doesn’t matter how much you have, you still have to buy the same things.
In these two sections Thoreau talks about his prior experiences, rather than current ones at Walden Pond. This is a turn for the best, because these two sections definitely seem a bit less “preachy.”
It is by a mathematical point only that we are wise, as the sailor or fugitive slave keeps the
polestar in his eye; but that is sufficient guidance for all our life. We may not arrive at our
port within a calculable period, but we would preserve the true course.
These sections were some of my favorites that I’ve read so far, again, because they were less “preachy.” His style in these sections made them feel more like a proper book, with a direction that Thoreau wanted to go to from the start. This is also why the sections also fall behind a couple of others for me in some ways as well. Thoreau wasn’t known for being a proper author; he was a controversial, provocative, and thoughtful writer. This is what made Thoreau famous. I can imagine working 9 to 5 in a boring job. This would be a tedious experience that I wouldn’t enjoy. If you love your work though, as many people do, I would probably have to disagree with Thoreau.
These two sections, “Education” and “Money and Work” got good points across and told some extremely interesting stories. The way he went back to past experiences to help us to understand why he feels the way he does was not only effective, but made the sections more interesting. Still, the more “traditional” style they are written in felt almost non-Walden-like.