“Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind”
Sometimes, living in a highly commercial society where everything is for sale, it can be easy to lose sight of the simplicity of life. Thoreau wondered what it would be like to lead a simple life, so he moved away from society and decided to live near Walden Pond. He wrote a book about his experience which he named Walden. In Economy, the first chapter of Walden, Thoreau talks about how he built his own shelter and finds everything that he needs from his surroundings. He asserts that people should not worry about poverty or money because anything you can buy with money can be foraged from your surroundings. Thoreau critiques many aspects of society that he believes that have become overly commoditized, such as clothes, shelter, and money. He argues that clothing exists only as protection from the natural elements, shelter is only to protect you and your possessions and can be build yourself with materials you can easily obtain, and money is a tool that exists to trade services and should only be needed to buy things you cannot obtain yourself easily. Thoreau says that “Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” He makes his disdain for material possessions quite obvious and he makes it quite clear that he thinks that petty “luxuries” get in the way of humanity reaching a greater plane of understanding.I think that Thoreau was very right with condemnation of material possessions. However, it is human nature to want the newest and most expensive things. It is human nature to want the latest iPhone, the next highest internet speed, or even more premium channels with cable subscription.