what ways are the concepts of individualim and self reliance
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Thoreau was really enamoured by Waldo Emerson's essay “Self-Reliance.” Emerson was a mentor and inspiration to Thoreau. To Thoreau, self reliance meant more than simply chopping his own wood and turning Walden into some sort of self sustaining enterprise. Thoreau felt "self reliance" was a state of mind that could only be reached when in communion with nature. The laugh of a loon or the wind whistling through the tees defined self reliance just as much as socio-economic autonomy. Still, Thoreau was obsessed with forging his own finances through simple hard work. He wanted to produce whatever he needed and sell the rest. He wanted the government to have no part in his interests or his failures. Thoreau was a paradox to some. He was an obsessive miser with money while at the same time a free spirited poet. To him Walden meant creating, consuming and writing. It was his own little microcosm of self sufficiency and he loved it.