Henry David Thoreau's Analysis

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“I do not wish to quarrel with any man or nation, I do not wish to split hairs, to make fine distinctions, or set myself up as better than my neighbors” (“Civil Disobedience”). Henry David Thoreau was a man who was marvelous at contradicting himself. He says he does not want to make himself seem superior to others, but all the man does is patronize others who do not think or act as he does. The man preaches individuality, but one cannot truly be an individual; all the ideals that someone come up with and follow, it is almost promised someone else has already thought of it. The simple act of trying to have someone follow the way another think and live, which is what Thoreau spent most of his life doing, is in fact stripping them from their own…show more content…
But it is not the most realistic lifestyle, especially in today’s age. Also, it is impossible to not hold a steady paying job, as Thoreau did. He had the lucky advantage of a family who could help support him when he needed it, and a friend who let him live on his land for free. “How do you know that I’m not the free one? The freest man in the world! And you, are chained to what you have to do tomorrow morning!” (Lawrence and Lee 40). One cannot live without a job, and if one does, he or she will not have a home. Thoreau was lucky enough to be from a well off family, as well as Harvard educated man, so he had a means of living even though he did not want to hold an occupation. In today’s society, a job is a necessity to live a decent life, to have a home and a way to obtain goods, seeing as how not everyone has a wealthy family to fall back on. Living life as a hermit may be a positive experience for some, but one cannot live without any human help, humans live in communities because that is how human nature was designed to succeed with the most efficiency. Although Thoreau had his faults, he was also a very inspirational man for important historical…show more content…
Mahatma Gandhi. Two extremely important historical figures that changed human history through peaceful protest. One of Thoreau’s most popular ideals, that violence will lead to no change, but peace can move mountains. He was inspirational to those who are the essence of righteousness. King, who enlightened the United States into a time of racial acceptance with his powerful speeches and peaceful marches. As well as Gandhi, who led the independence movement of British-ruled India through prayer and acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. “It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look” (“Where I lived…”). He speaks of changing the perspective of humanity, just as King and Gandhi set out and succeeded to do. Without Thoreau, these two would have still gone on there way to practice civil disobedience and change the world. Although Thoreau was a significant inspiration to both of them, that does not mean that without him they would go to do what they did peacefully and just as stupendously as they did having read his works. Just because the man was inspirational in some of his philosophies does not make him a genius of any
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