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Walden Interview Notes
· Walden creates a relationship between book and reader – one that is not always positive
-Evokes opinions
· People take the book in different ways some people hate it and some people become followers but you cannot get that on the first read. In other words, some people don't worship Thoreau right away. It is difficult to give a definitive opinion on the first reading.
Thoreau was good at using metaphors and twisting them to mean something else.
· Walden transcendental strip tease
· Transcendental: going beyond the fact or the idea, this is used to describe the relationship between the reader and the writer.
· Thoreau looked beyond nature for spiritual truth and the true ideas, looking through the facts of nature, figuring out the truth, and looking at the facts of his life. He wanted to see the truth beyond nature.
Thoreau teases the reader: Stripping our lives down/critique:He turns our world upside-down, to let the reader figure out the truth of nature through learning the facts.
· He starts from something concrete to something abstract.
· He is nature and looking at the facts of his life and nature and trying to look through them, which is how he does the metaphor usage.
· Thoreau looks through his life to find the truth. By of course, living at Walden Pond and comparing his life in civilization vs. his life in nature.
-Thoreau had a great sense of humor
· Strip Tease: Thoreau was not a sexual writer.
· Strip- Thoreau strips himself down to the absolute necessary parts of life. Food,heat, shelter and clothing determines what are the most basic things he needs to live. He teaches the readers to understand how to live with the basics of life. He also teaches them to appreciate what they have.
· Stripping down the expectations,assumptions, presentation, and traditions- and other things that people expect him to be and that doesn't seem common to other people.He does not want to be caught up in making money and waste his life. He wants to do what's important to him, what's basic to him and not what others think about how life should be lived.
-By stripping down, he brings the reader into his world
-Thoreau wants to live as basic as possible, live freely, for himself
· He causes the reader to strip themselves too. He judges and criticizes the reader, about how they are being robbed of their lives.He is criticizing you! Since he criticizes society for doing so many things, we become uncomfortable as the readers, because we feel like we are one of "them" that Thoreau is criticizing.
· He is talking about clothes,but also the baggage, what we wear and what other people think of us. We feel more uncomfortable yet, because we realize that what Thoreau is pointing out is what we do. We, the readers, believe that being fashionable and other's opinions about our clothes are important to us, especially teenagers. That is why we see many of us spending a lot of money on clothes and cars because we want to be fashionable.
· Thoreau also strips and redefines the language, strips the words we use and change the definiton of what we think in a different way. He talks a lot about economy, but in a different way that we believe economy means. He talks about how to live life most economically; which in this case economically means basic. How to not spend your time doing things that are not important to you. With this, we see many of the writing techniques that Thoreau uses. In this case, Alexie tries to do the same thing Thoreau does with his writing. He tries to break down the words "Transcendental Strip Tease" and seeing the true meaning of these words from what we learn of Thoreau and his view of nature.
-Nature of truth very well hidden
-As you delve deeper into the book, you become less of a "them" and more of a partner along for the ride
· Redefines this:"Voluntary poverty might be the greatest wealth."
-Reconstructs his world while prompting the reader to do the same

· He strips and it is an exhibition which encourages us to look carefully at our lives and reconstruct it,change your life.
This book shapes the readers knowledge of what the truth is and changes the reader as a writer and a person.
The truths that the readers figure out are different from the truths thats Thoreau explains in Walden.
· Tease: Thoreau has a great sense of humor by teasing his readers and by using play on words, sometimes it is confusing. He does write them in a puzzling way, demands a type of attention. Without this, you can't understand what he's saying. Often, he does not say what he means.
· You have got to pay attention to him. He is giving you hints, but not always telling you the whole stories of the truth.
· He is teasing the truth out of nature.
· He believes that there are many truths in the fact and that the truths could be different for the reader than for him.
· The truth is hidden and only shows itself by indirection and hints.
· Not only is he challenging you with ideas and questions you are with him, you are a partner.
· The object of the strip tease is to bring the reader into his world and to make the reader strip and reconstruct their lives. Doesn’t matter if it is the same or different
· Frustrating because it is open ended but you make it what you want, create your own world.
· He draws you in and makes you a performer in your own world having decided by stripping that there are problems in your world.

- He strips language down to what they mean, or sometime what you don't expect they mean.
- We need to look at our assumptions and why we are living and is this really how we want to spend our time. Are we living lives of quite desperation.
- Thoreau believes there are many truths and each truth is different for each person. He gives you hints about what he is saying.
- When reading the book you are no longer a reader but you are a partner experiencing what he is.
- He makes you think about reconstructing your life. He draws you into his world through his strip tease.
-When you finish the book his goal is that you leave a different person.

-Some people either HATE or LOVE Thoreau
-TO LIVE- stripping down the expectations, assumptions, and traditions that people want for him, wants to live life on his basic terms
-Causes the reader to undergo a literal strip: criticizing society, which robs them of their lives but gives them new ones
-How the savage could be far more civilized than our world
-Tease the facts of nature, and squeezing out the truths
-Object of strip tease-make the reader THINK...how to reconstruct their life
-Makes you realize there ARE problems that the world has-and the point is to leave the reader changed.

-Some of the highlighted themes are challenging, teasing, stripping words to necessities, living and reconstructing
-Style of writing imitates nature
-Thoreau's main goal was to inspire people to reconstruct their lives and perhaps discover new things about them
-Makes reader look carefully at reading and pick apart what it means
-Each word is valuable to Thoreau- he analyzes the meaning of every single one


- You need to read the book more than once in order to completely understand the book and what Thoreau is saying.
- People tend to feel rather uncomfortable while reading the book because they are the people that is criticizing.
- He says that we are living in quiet desperation.
- He is a big teaser and if you don't realize that then you aren't understanding the book right and also through out the whole book you need to be paying attention because he is giving you hints that he does not explain through out the whole book.
- There isn't a one to one relationship
- The reader is experiencing his experiences with him.