At the end of chapter 2 Thoreau says, "Be it life or death, we only crave reality." Compare the ending of Chapter 2 to Thoreau's comments on truth and reality in this chapter.

Chapter 18: "Conclusion"

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Thoreau was all over the idea of finding what is real amidst the illusions seeks to satisfy his desires. For a good part of this chapter (18) , Thoreau employs the extended metaphor of sailing and exploration as a means of comparing the artificial, unthinking life in the material world with the true, introspective life he urges. Thoreau prefers the contemplative simplicity of a cabin in the woods, to experience reality, to that of an extended physical journey through the world.