Henry David Thoreau Money Quotation saying we as a species are greater as a whole than divided into our parts as our faults become glaring when viewed at the individual level – but seem minor when part of a larger whole. Henry David Thoreau said:
“The universe seems bankrupt as soon as we begin to discuss the characters of individuals” — Henry David Thoreau
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In this quote, Henry David Thoreau seems to be suggesting that discussions or judgments about specific people often fail to capture the complexity of human nature and reality.
When he says the universe appears “bankrupt” in such conversations, Thoreau likely means that characterizing individuals leaves much out of the picture and can present an incomplete or reductive view.
He appears to believe that talking about personalities glosses over wider contexts, mitigating factors and deeper intricacies that are difficult to encompass in evaluations of any single person.
Overall, the quote conveys Thoreau’s perspective that assessing individuals in isolation tends to oversimplify the true richness and nuance of human character and experience that is intertwined within the broader scope of existence.