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Which statement best summarizes the third paragraph of “Economy” in Walden?

A. The building he took his house’s boards from was not in very good shape. The price was reasonable, though.
B. First he constructed the frame of his house, and then he bought the boards. The boards came from another house.
C. His house frame was ready for its boards by mid-April. He had gotten the boards from a small, run-down building he purchased for a good price.
D. Having finished framing his house, he sought out another house to dismantle for building materials. He found one and bought it cheaply.


The statement that best summarizes the third paragraph of “Economy” in Walden is C. His house frame was ready for its boards by mid-April. He had gotten the boards from a small, run-down building he purchased for a good price.

Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” is a timeless classic that continues to inspire readers with its philosophical musings and reflections on simple living. One of the significant aspects of the book is Thoreau’s account of building his own house near Walden Pond. In the third paragraph of the chapter “Economy” in Walden, where Thoreau shares valuable insights on how he constructed his dwelling affordably by sourcing materials from a run-down building. We can learn from Thoreau’s approach to building a home on a budget and how they can be applied in modern times.

  1. The Beauty of Simplicity: Thoreau’s decision to build his house with his own hands speaks to the beauty of simplicity and self-reliance. In an era where lavish houses were becoming the norm, Thoreau embraced a minimalistic approach. He appreciated the value of hard work and took pride in the effort he put into crafting a shelter that aligned with his philosophical beliefs. In a world where consumerism often dictates our choices, Thoreau’s example reminds us of the importance of simplicity and self-sufficiency.
  2. Finding Cost-Effective Solutions: The third paragraph of “Economy” reveals Thoreau’s ingenuity in finding cost-effective solutions for building his house. Rather than purchasing brand new materials at a higher cost, he sought out a small, dilapidated building that he could acquire at a reasonable price. By salvaging the boards from this structure, he not only saved money but also repurposed resources that might have otherwise gone to waste. This resourcefulness teaches us to think creatively and make the most of what is available to us, fostering a sustainable and budget-friendly mindset.
  3. Patience and Persistence: Thoreau’s construction process required patience and persistence. He didn’t rush into buying expensive materials or hire labor to speed up the process. Instead, he took his time to find the right building to dismantle for materials. Thoreau’s patience teaches us that good things often come to those who wait, and rushing into decisions can lead to unnecessary expenses. By being patient and persistent, we can find more economical solutions for building our dream homes.
  4. Valuing Every Element: The process of dismantling the small building to retrieve the boards showcased Thoreau’s respect for every element of construction. He didn’t waste any materials and valued the resources he had acquired. In our modern world, where overconsumption and waste are prevalent, Thoreau’s approach reminds us to be mindful of our consumption patterns and to cherish the resources we have.
  5. DIY Ethics: Thoreau’s decision to build his house from scratch reflects the do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos. He embraced the challenges that came with constructing his dwelling and relied on his skills and knowledge. In today’s consumer-driven society, the DIY approach can not only save money but also foster a sense of accomplishment and self-reliance. Taking the time to learn and build things ourselves can be empowering and gratifying.

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