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If you look at "Walden" as nothing more than a compilation of essays, you're missing Thoreau at his best. Walden isn't just a presentation of facts, or a missile on how to live and economic, naturalistic life...... it's a rich tapestry of poetry. Thoreau is presenting a symbol of himself and his beliefs in a completely structured narrative which is his life. It's an autobiography and a work of prose; Thoreau was an artist.