Civil Disobedience Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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Throughout the writing of “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau often referred back to his idea that he supported which was “That government is best which governs not at all.” (Thoreau) In the passage, Thoreau believed that the government does not have a conscience. He talked about not wanting to pay the government poll tax, which in result, caused him to be thrown into jail. A poll tax is just a tax on a person for existing, therefore, everyone had to pay the same amount regardless of the value of their possessions. This poll tax was for prosecuting war on Mexico, which Thoreau disagreed with, therefore, he did not pay it.
In the passage, Thoreau used many different rhetorical devices and appeals, such as anaphora and repetition to emphasize the
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But, because turning all these rules into action doesn’t always work well, we see these laws becoming unfair, which resulted in leading David Thoreau being thrown behind bars.
Just as I mention before, two of the rhetorical devices Thoreau uses in the passage is anaphora and logos. He repetitively uses the word “It” in the following passage, “It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate.” In the quote above, you can clearly acknowledge that the “It” is referring to the government.
Thoreau’s logical reasoning in the quote above is putting emphasis on what a government should play and by that, I mean by understanding that a country is free because of the character of its people and not the government. He says that people occupied the West, not the governments, and it is the people who educate. He sort of makes the statement, to come to your senses because the truth is right in front of you and makes the same exact claims over and over again to show the audience that it is only logical to think in a certain way and to speak up for what you think is right. He also continues to argue for better and less of a pushy
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