So I’m still working on this week’s post about Walden (by “still working on” I mean, of course, thinking about starting it today), but I thought it might be useful for all of you in the writing lab today to have some suggestions for writing topics.
Let me emphasize once again that your response paper topic is entirely up to you. The only requirement is that it deals in some significant way with the text we’ve been reading this week, Walden. This should be no problem–we read dozens of mind-blowing passages just in the 15 or 20 pages we covered over the past few days.
Here are some topics I would be interested in writing and reading more about:
- “Quiet desperation” (p. 4): Describe the life of someone you know that fits this description. Why do you think they are “desperate?” What do they do to hide it (make it “quiet,” as Thoreau says)? Are you one of the “mass” of people in despair? Why or why not?
- The true “philosopher’s life” (p. 9): Are you, or anyone you know, living the true philosopher’s life, as described by Thoreau on page 9? Be sure to define your terms and summarize Thoreau’s ideas about the “true” philosopher before launching into your own description.
- Keeping our selves “awake” (p. 59): What does Thoreau think keeps people truly “awake”? Are you awake? Why or why not? Explain, expound, expand, expostulate, express, ext. I mean, etc.
Okay, there’s a ton of other stuff to write about, those are just a few suggestions. Notice that they all take their inspiration from a specific passage of the reading and them build on the idea in the passage. I suggest (well, uh, require, really) that you do the same with whatever topic you choose.