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Following is an excerpt from “Walking,” Henry David Thoreau’s 1862 essay.

A man’s ignorance some times is not only useful, but beautiful,—while his knowledge, so called, is oftentimes worse than useless, beside being ugly. Which is the best man to deal with,—he who knows nothing about a subject, and, what is extremely rare, knows that he knows nothing, or he who really knows something about it, but thinks that he knows all?

What is surprising about how Thoreau portrays ignorance and knowledge?

He values them in unexpected ways.

He questions their usefulness at times.

He considers them beautiful and rare.

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