At this time, too, he inverted his names and began to refer to himself as Henry David.
Thoreau’s working life began with a teaching job at Concord Center School that lasted only a few weeks because he was unwilling to use corporal punishment on his students.
Also, nature’s presence is not merely accepted passively; Thoreau focuses on its agency as an analogue and inspiration for human agency.
Like other Transcendentalists, he was an idealist and believed divinity to be immanent in nature.
At least partly on her father’s advice, she rejected Thoreau’s proposal of marriage.
Thoreau’s writing career was launched the following year when he began publishing essays and poems in Emerson and Margaret Fuller‘s new journal, “Natural History of Massachusetts,” which established the basic direction and style of his naturalistic writings.He and his brother, John, ran their own school from 1838 to 1841; their teaching techniques foreshadowed the pragmatic educational philosophy of John Dewey.During these years Thoreau developed a close relationship with Ralph Waldo Emerson, who served as his friend and mentor.The continuing importance of these two themes is well illustrated by the fact that the last two essays Thoreau published during his lifetime were “The Last Days of John Brown” and “The Succession of Forest Trees” (both in 1860).In his moral and political work Thoreau aligned himself with the post-Socratic schools of Greek philosophy—in particular, the Cynics and Stoics—that used philosophy as a means of addressing ordinary human experience.In this vein, Thoreau’s work has been recognized as having foreshadowed central insights of later philosophical movements such as existentialism and pragmatism.Toward the end of his life Thoreau’s naturalistic interests took a more scientific turn; he pursued a close examination of local fauna and kept detailed records of his observations.Traces of Emerson’s philosophical influence appear in all of Thoreau’s writings, even after their friendship cooled.In 1839 Thoreau met Ellen Sewall, the daughter of a Unitarian minister.The essay displays both his scientific interest and his Transcendentalist vision of the meanings to be found in human encounters with nature.In two essays published in 1843, “A Winter Walk” and “A Walk to Wachusett,” Thoreau develops his naturalistic writing in the direction it later took in .