Deconstructing Lego is a blog that analyzes Lego sets under a variety of lenses, sometimes comparing similar sets from different years or creating a story based around a set or analyzing the implicit message that a set creates.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Walden Pond

Thoreau ventured into the woods near Concord Massachusetts and built a small log cabin, desiring to live under the guide of transcendentalist philosophy and to objectively view society from afar.  In his own words, he

"went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."

The Lego Creator set 5766:  Log Cabin can be interpreted as a set based on Thoreau's unique experiment.  There is a small patch of water in the set, perhaps meant to represent Walden Pond.  Thoreau's cabin was 15'x10', which does not quite fit the dimensions of the set shown here but it is certainly close.

Thoreau spent much of his time at Walden Pond living simply, writing about life and government, and relaxing in the woods of New England.  While this set can easily be seen as any ordinary woodland cabin, I like to think of the possibility that on some level Thoreau was thought of when this set was designed.  

The above photo is a replica of Thoreau's cabin, and looks quite similar to the Lego set.  The door it located on a different side, the but roof and placement of the chimney are remarkably the same.  

I hope this post helps you to take time to think about the cultural influences that may or may not go into the design of each Lego set.


  1. I'm going to buy this set today. It reminds me Tucker & Dale vs Evil :D

  2. That is some bad-ass legoing!

  3. Thoreau and Lego - quite an unique combination.