Expository Walden

The chapter, Brute Neighbors, can be deceiving if one attempts to guess what it is about without reading it.   It is a clever title because it is meant to be deceiving to the reader. The title has the reader believe that Thoreau is going to talk about his neighbors that are likely to be human. This is not the case however. The term brute means a brutal, insensitive, or crude person. However it also means a non human creature, or beast. In a way this is a hint as to what the chapter is about, although it can go by either meaning of the word. Thoreau’s neighbors were interesting to say the least.
Thoreau, while living at Walden Pond, considers his neighbor to be the animals that live in his cabin and the woods that surround him. One of his neighbors is the mice that inhabit his cabin. In this chapter, Thoreau goes as far as to describing one of the mice that takes a bit of cheese from his fingers. He sent one of the mice a distinguished naturalist because the mouse was not a native kind found in his village. The naturalist was very interested in the mouse sent to him. Thoreau encounters many birds as well, such as a phoebe, a robin and a partridge. The Phoebe lived in his shed, the robin lived in a pine that grew against his cabin for protection, and the partridge led her brood past his windows to the front of his house. He was surprised by the partridge because those birds are particularly shy. Thoreau called these birds his hens and chickens because they lived by his home.
Thoreau is struck by how some of the animals live hidden in the woods. He less than frequently witnesses these animals because of their ability to live secretly in the woods. Thoreau is impressed with the otter. The otter impresses him by how it grows to be about the size of a young boy but most humans don’t get a glimpse of the otter as it grows. The raccoon is an animal that strikes Thoreau with its ability to live hidden in the woods and while being around society unnoticed at times....