Was Thoreau dependent on the division of labor while he was living on Walden Pond? First of all, I would like to tell you who Thoreau was and what the division of labor was. His full name was Henry David Thoreau. According to Google, “Thoreau was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, philosopher, and a leading transcendentalist.” “As a transcendentalist, Thoreau believed that reality existed only in the spiritual world, and the solution to people’s problems was the free development of emotions (“Transcendentalism”).” He is most known for his autobiography entitled “Walden”. It tells of his life living on Walden Pond. In his autobiography he wrote “I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again.” He also wrote his purpose for going to live at Walden Pond. He wrote “My purpose in going to Walden Pond was not to live cheaply nor to live dearly there, but to transact some private business with the fewest obstacles; to be hindered from accomplishing which for want of a little common sense, a little enterprise and business talent, appeared not so sad as foolish.” He also said “I have thought that Walden Pond would be a good place for business, not solely on account of the railroad and the ice trade; it offers advantages which it may not be good policy to divulge; it is a good port and a good foundation.” Next, the division of labor. According to Google, the division of labor is “the assignment of different parts of a manufacturing process or task to different people in order to improve efficiency”.
So, back to the question, was Thoreau dependent on the division of labor while he was living on Walden Pond? The answer is, yes, he was. In the first quote from his book, he said that he built his house himself so he bought his things to build his house from a store. Now, all of the merchandise found in stores come from factories which use the division of labor. He also needed to buy food at the store which also uses the division of labor, just like the lumber he used to build his house. He also fished for some of his food and I think that he got his fishing gear from the store which also uses the division of labor. All stores use the division of labor. He said about fishing “At night there was never a traveler passed my house, or knocked at my door, more than if I were the first or last man; unless it were in the spring, when at long intervals some came from
the village to fish for pouts—they plainly fished much more in the Walden Pond of their own natures, and baited their hooks with darkness—but they soon retreated, usually with light baskets, and left “the world to darkness and to me,” and the black kernel of the night was never profaned by any human neighborhood.” He was a very interesting man.