The tone of Walden is one of exuberant superiority. Naturally, Thoreau's experiment in self-reflection leads him to emphasize his own voice and life experience. The first-person narrator omits the word "I" but tells the reader that "it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking." He defends this approach by claiming absolute expertise about both himself and the pond, saying that “I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.” Throughout the work, he projects a lot of confidence in his project and in himself.
But partway through "Economy," he justifies his boastful tone:
If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself; and my shortcomings and inconsistencies do not affect the truth of my statement. Notwithstanding much cant and hypocrisy, — chaff which I find it difficult to separate from my wheat, but for which I am as sorry as any man, — I will breathe freely and stretch myself in this respect, it is such a relief to both the moral and physical system; and I am resolved that I will not through humility become the devil’s attorney.
Here, he acknowledges that he "boast[s] more than is becoming." He claims to "brag for humanity," which means that he believes that people have the potential to reform their own lives. However, most people have yet to adopt his ideas, and many still disagree with them. This tone of superiority demonstrates his confidence in the Walden experiment and his belief that everyone can and should live a simple life of self-reliance.