Transcendentalism was an American version of Romantic Idealism, a dualistic Neoplatonic view of the world divided into the material and the spiritual.
For Emerson, "Mind is the only reality, of which all other natures are better or worse reflectors.
When John endured a lengthy illness in 1841, the school became too much for Henry to handle alone, so he closed it.
He returned to work in the pencil factory but was soon invited to work as a live-in handyman in the home of his mentor, neighbor, and friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
In 1845, he received permission from Emerson to use a piece of land that Emerson owned on the shore of Walden Pond.
He bought building supplies and a chicken coop (for the boards), and built himself a small house there, moving in on the Fourth of July.
Thoreau stayed in the house at Walden Pond for two years, from July 1845 to September 1847.
condenses the experiences of those two years into one year for artistic unity.
In 1838, he decided to start his own school in Concord, eventually asking John to help him.
The two brothers worked well together and vacationed together during holidays.