He made a strong case for acting on one's individual conscience and not blindly following laws and government policy. " The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right," he wrote (Thoreau,1854). The timely and inaccurate injustice of society led Thoreau to a new height of revolution and it spooked the immeasurable feeling of human justice we human possess. An average person living about his daily life in the society is somewhat barred from taking those brave acts as he becomes a part of the system.
He also believes that a person should distance themselves from government, especially if it is unjust and should refuse to follow such institutions that go against one’s beliefs of doing wrong acts. Although Thoreau affirms we should rebel against what is wrong, we should also be peaceful when doing it like he does, for example, and not participate in passive waiting for something that may be deemed as unjust to change. Do what justice requires no matter what but always be aware of the consequences and do not do unjustly acts when refusing
Civil Disobedience is a term that is held in a very stereotypical manner. When I think of the term, I think of a peaceful protest that eventually will solve the everlasting issue of governmental control regarding the people's lives. This term to me insinuates that no matter how terrible the situation at hand can be, individuals in any community like setting can ultimately be the bigger person and do no harm to anyone or anything while demoralizing a law. However in current situations, my assumption of the term has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse. Though this may be the case, I still continue to proclaim that civil disobedience sheds a positive light on communal views and how a society should handle an issue.
Thoreau explains that the state and societies prison “never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength” and furthermore that he “was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion” (1990). Therefore, Resistance to Civil Government is validating that prison is confinement and conformity, however, Thoreau will not be conforming to any such conformist state and neither should the reader. Thoreau finally reinforces that he is “not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society” and that “if a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so man” (1990), Thoreau is explicating that society needs to be responsible for its self and become self-reliant, just as an individual should be, because it is the nature of the world and society and if it cannot live as such then it will not continue
He also explains that we, as American citizens, not only have the right, but the duty to rebel against the government. However, because of the enslavement of about one-sixth of the population and with the invasion of Mexico, he speaks about not letting it continue any longer and to stop the unjust of it all. Thoreau furthermore exclaims in his essays that the Americans citizens should have followed what power they thought was right, like their conscience, instead of the wrong of the government. Thoreau ultimately sent the message that if following what was right and following your heart really believes in like the right of doing right; then let it be and so live life in spite of what one thinks.
Mr. Thoreau argues that people should not allow any government to control or atrophy their thoughts or beliefs. Mr. Thoreau was an also remained a devoted abolitionist and has written
Although I do agree with Thoreau throughout most of his essay, my thinking does differ in the instances of going against the law regardless of what the law is. As an individual, I do feel a disjoint
3rd Quote that supports the Topic Sentence: “The authority of government, even such as I am willing to submit to- for I will cheerfully obey those who know and can do better than I, and in many things even those who neither know nor can do so well- is still an impure one: to be strictly just, it must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it.” (13) EXPLANATION of 3rd Quote: Thoreau will listen to the government as long as it is just to everyone. It cannot have any right over his body and property, but what he surrenders to it. INTRO TO Research That Supports/Helps Explain
Henry David Thoreau’s “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” (first presented in 1848 and first published 1849) insists, — “That government is best which governs least”, or alternatively, — “That government is best which governs not at all.” Thoreau develops and supports his thesis statement by explaining what government is at best (an expedient) and usually is (inexpedient), and by giving a specific and current example to his readers. The author’s purpose was to educate the masses regarding civil disobedience, teaching them not only that it’s allowed, but that it’s a duty upon them in order to create an ideal government or even world. Thoreau’s intended audience is clearly the people who, as Thoreau himself said, “would not have consented to
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” (Jefferson, 1776/2014, para. 2). Authority should not reside over individuals, but with them. A heart cannot run a body alone. Likewise, a government does not operate a nation by itself. Individuals help maintain the justice of authority.
Civil disobedience is the deliberate action against an unjust law to invoke a positive change in government and society. Civilians have the right to refute these types of unjust laws to eliminate inequality and government’s unjust nature by following conscience before laws for moral guidance. As demonstrated in Antigone, this is depicted by the daughter of Oedipus, who disobeys Creon’s law for the greater good because of the laws unjust nature. In Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist, promotes this concept as well through his philosophical standpoint of the flaws of the government. Lastly, in Dr. King’s letter he qualifies the idea of civilians disobeying their government through non violent campaigns to stand up against
Government laws are necessary for our communities because if people do not agree with the government, it does not mean government decision are incorrect. In “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau talks about government and points out the flaws in the government system. On the other hand, in “ The Grapes of Wrath,” Steinbeck talk on the birth of civilization from physical and governmental issues. Although, many cases Thoreau and Steinbeck perspectives on government contradicts with each other however they both share similar thoughts about self-government.
”Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves”(Historical and recent examples of civil disobedience). Obedient people consistently listen to others, and because of this they never acknowledge their own opinion and beliefs of themselves. Henry David Thoreau did not swear by society and how others follow each one’s footsteps. Instead, Thoreau requested to be himself and be unique, and not like others.
This citation shows that Thoreau did not want to follow the laws. Thoreau also believed in living life by following moral law and not law stated in the constitution. Thoreau also believed that the government does best if it does not rule over the people. In the essay Civil Disobedience it says “That government is best which governs least”. This shows what Thoreau felt the government should not do.
Throughout history, civil disobedience has helped societies grow and accept social reforms. The case of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, is an important formal written statement for the need of social change. Civil disobedience has been a useful leveraging tactic in ways to draw attention to the perceived injustice. It has had huge impacts on societies in ways to create tension that