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He hibernates in this world, and feeds on his own marrow" (99). The only competition with which Thoreau appears to be fully comfortable are ''the peaceful games of the Lyceum'' (100). , which made it difficult to contemplate succeeding in an increasingly dog-eat-dog world. In another sense, surpassing his father could further compound oedipal guilt. The rivalry with, and demise of, John Jr. immeasurably reinforced his fear and avoidance of standard versions of success. With his gifts and ambivalence, it is understandable that he turned to writing as a profession, since in America it rarely led to material success or security.
Thus the Thoreau brothers Page 10 stare down one of the "impudent" young men who "leaned . . over the rails [of a bridge] to pry into our concerns": "we caught the eye of the most forward, and looked at him till he was visibly discomfited. " As Thoreau well knew from his battles for autonomy in his family and community, the susceptibility to shame experienced by young children remains a potent threat to the adult; it is therefore ''wonderful," he observes, "how we get about the streets without being wounded by these delicate and glancing weapons" of people's stares (63).
Lunt, © 1951 by W. W. , © renewed 1979 by Dudley C. Lunt. Alfred A. , from Daniel J. Levinson, The Seasons of a Man's Life, © 1978 by Daniel J. Levinson. " Many people have helped make my soundings for this book possible and, I believe, more sound. As the Notes make clear, I am indebted to a long chain of Thoreau scholars and students of human life and development. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Walter Harding, not only for The Days of Henry Thoreau, the invaluable biography that decisively launched my own expedition into Thoreau, but also for encouraging me to continue beyond Young Man Thoreau.