I am reading the novel of Walden Thoreau " Civil Disobedience". Could you please tell me the meaning of these quotes.
" I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than than when we stay in our chambers." Thoreau is saying that in his view people are lonelier in a crowd than they can be on their own, as the others in the crowd will have their own concerns and not be interested in those of others. He personally preferred to be alone.
"Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels not of trade, but of thought.......Patriotism is a maggot in their heads." Explore the world of philosophy and its related disciplines - metaphorically treating them as new and unknown countries.
Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice.Yet some can be patriotic who have no self-respect, and sacrifice the greater to the less. They love the soil which makes their graves, but have no sympathy with the spirit which may still animate their clay. Patriotism is a maggot in their heads
In those who are patriotic without understanding the nature of their own beings, Patriotism is like a maggot eating away in their brains.
"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." We can do without luxury - it prevents us from becoming better people.
"Civil Disobedience" is not a novel [which is a work of fiction], but a political tract/essay of enormous influence.
Thanks for the explanation. I want to discuss the first explanation because I'm presently living in U.S. and I've no friends and family here so I feel alone all the time. How can a person feel alone if he or she is surrounded by a large number of people. I think everybody needs friends.
In the last explanation better people means related to spirtuality.
Note that the man's name was Henry David Thoreau. He wrote both Walden and Civil Disobedience.
If you are surrounded by people but have no one who is real friend to you, you can feel more lonely than if you are by yourself. It draws more attention to your "aloneness" to not be physically alone. He believed you can find good company within yourself, through introspection. Ask anyone who has ever been in a bad marriage if she feels more alone in the room with her husband who makes her feel terrible, or by herself.
You can feel very alone if you are surroundned by a large number of people and none of them knows your name or even seems to notice you are there, nor takes any interest in you.
Meanwhile, I hope you find a group of people to be with soon. Moving somewhere new is very hard. What part of the US do you live in?