The This applies to Thoreau’s question perfectly,

The rest of Thoreau’s paragraph does a great job at answering his question, “Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?” The rest of the paragraph discusses how we tend to rush and hurry through life, being afraid of the future, instead of living in the now. His entire paragraph is precedented on this very question. Thoreau first starts off with the example that people, “are determined to be starved before we are hungry.” This shows the rush that we feel to live life that we would hurry to starve just that we could eat again. Thoreau is also telling us to live in the moment and slow down. The text says, “Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches today to save nine tomorrow. As for work, we haven’t any of any consequence. We have the Saint Vitus’ dance,4 and cannot possibly keep our heads still.” With this quote Thoreau shows that as we live our lives, we are constantly moving, from one thing to the next, from one show to another, from one girlfriend/boyfriend (It’s 2018, we don’t judge.) to another, without actually taking the time to appreciate what’s right in front of us. There’s a famous saying that says, “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” This applies to Thoreau’s question perfectly, as most of us miss what’s right in front of us, and don’t realize how great it was until we lose it, like a family member or friend that we push away, we don’t appreciate them until it’s just too late. Thoreau also says, “. If I should only give a few pulls at the parish bell-rope, as for a fire, that is, without setting the bell, there is hardly a man on his farm in the outskirts of Concord, notwithstanding that press of engagements which was his excuse so many times this morning, nor a boy, nor a woman, I might almost say, but would foresake all and follow that sound, not mainly to save property from the flames, but, if we will confess the truth, much more to see it burn, since burn it must, and we, be it known, did not set it on fire—or to see it put out, and have a hand in it, if that is done as handsomely; yes, even if it were the parish church itself. Hardly a man takes a half-hour’s nap after dinner, but when he wakes he holds up his head and asks, “What’s the news?” as if the rest of mankind had stood his sentinels.” This quote also shows us how selfish we mankind can be, and this shows us exactly how we are wasting life by focusing on nobody else but ourselves. Throughout the third paragraph, Henry David Thoreau answers his rhetorical question flawlessly.


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