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An American classic that hails from the nineteenth-century Transcendentalism movement rather than existentialism. However, Thoreau addresses several themes that are of interest to existentialists as well. How does one avoid too much compromise in conforming to others’ expectations while still retaining personal identity and freedom? Thoreau outlines his carpe deim prescription for an authentic life: live each moment as if it were your last and do nothing that complicates your life.

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