Essay On The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail

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Anoosha Balebail The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail Essay Rewrite As Shakespeare had once said in the past, “To thine own self be true.” During the Transcendentalist era of American literature, many writers took on the liberal mindset of the time, and that was with no exception to Ralph Waldo Emerson. During his time, Emerson compiled a list of nine maxims, or universal truths/themes on life, and used these as an approach to life. One of such maxims is “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” This maxim, while ironically mocking the hold of religion upon the society of the time, also serves to display Emerson’s values on the originality of one’s thoughts. In literal translation, the maxim states, “The only sacred thing…show more content…
Henry approaches religion from an anti-authoritarian perspective and instead focuses on living as a non-conformist. Henry even suggests at one point that God may be an atheist, saying, “I often wondered, Deacon Ball, if atheism might even be popular with God himself” (19). While Henry is not rejecting religion with this statement, he is trying to convey that blindly following anything without stopping and questioning yourself is no way to achieve true intelligence – and that God himself disregards those who lack self-actualization. As Emerson’s maxim emphasizes as well, Henry is trying to push society to realize that the only way to achieve “integrity of the mind” is not the way people are blindly following the thoughts of others, but to boldly question authority, not just sit around and wait until you innately realize the truth about society’s conformist nature. Henry states, “We are all related … interrelated to an Universal Mind” (19) and reflects the maxim’s intended meaning, since Emerson intended originality and those who achieve a relation to the “Universal Mind” can fully achieve their potential as true

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