I see nothing permanent in the society around me, and am not quite committed to any of its ways.—Journal, 1850
I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute Freedom and Wildness, as contrasted with a Freedom and Culture merely civil,—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.—"Walking"
If I shall sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage.—"Life Without Principle"
In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society.—"Walking"
In obedience to an instinct of their nature men have pitched their cabins, and planted corn and potatoes within speaking distance of one another, and so formed towns and villages, but they have not associated, they have only assembled, and society has signified only a convention of men.—Journal, 14 March 1838
In society you will not find health, but in nature.—"Natural History of Massachusetts"
Man is not at once born into society—hardly into the world. The world that he is hides for a time the world that he inhabits.—Journal, 14 March 1838
Men talk to me about society as if I had none and they had some, as if it were only to be got by going to the sociable or to Boston.—Journal, 27 March 1857
Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce, and export ice, and talk through a telegraph, and ride thirty miles an hour, without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men, is a little uncertain.—Walden
My furniture, part of which I made myself—and the rest cost me nothing of which I have not rendered an account—consisted of a bed, a table, a desk, three chairs, a looking-glass three inches in diameter, a pair of tongs and andirons, a kettle, a skillet, and a frying-pan, a dipper, a wash-bowl, two knives and forks, three plates, one cup, one spoon, a jug for oil, a jug for molasses, and a japanned lamp.—Walden