I strongly object to the remarks about Thoreau by V. Paul Reynolds in his Nov. 5 article “Hermits to the Woods.”
Thoreau was most emphatically not “a foppish, elitist snob …” He worked in his father’s pencil factory, where he learned the value of manual labor.
As for the author’s condescending comment that Thoreau “is the darling of the environmental movement and those bent on civil disobedience,” he has apparently never heard of John Muir, Aldo Leopold or Sigrid Olson. The movement needs no “darling.” It has visionaries instead.
As for civil disobedience, those who choose it are hardly “bent on it.” They feel there is no other way to make their voices heard.
It is true that Thoreau, while at Walden, brought his laundry home to his mother on weekends. That makes him rather endearing.