What does Thoreau say about solitude

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Thoreau seeks first to explain why he is not lonely while living "alone" in the woods, and second to argue for more meaningful connections between human beings. Instead of simply practicing artificial etiquette in our relations with others, we ought to abandon this pretence and only engage with others for "all important and hearty communications." Quality, not quantity, indeed.

Thus, this chapter is not about "solitude," at all, as the term in normally understood. Rather, it is about Thoreau's townsmen's misapprehensions regarding his solitude. Thoreau has shunned their company for what he calls a "more normal and natural society." He takes care to emphasize that all parts of nature -- the lake, bumble bees, the north star -- are companionship for him and that he is not lonesome.