The Difference Between Henry David Thoreau And Frederick Douglass

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Fredrick Douglas and Henry David Thoreau have the same ideas yet different experiences which shine through their writings. The main idea is that I would have had no idea that Thoreau was an abolitionist from this writing alone. This excerpt from Thoreau is extremely philosophical, as were most of his other writings, and could only loosely be applied to the issue of slavery while Douglas’ writing was strictly an autobiography. This simple difference goes a long way in highlighting their differences as rights activists. Douglas is direct and evokes change through his actions and words while Thoreau is indirect, yet he makes you think about your decisions and how they affect the world around you. It is hard to tell which one really made the …show more content…

He really innated the use of logos. They idea did not come across immediately but one the reader had though on the issue from some time the idea has become clear. He also used his writings as a tool to guide the way people think. Thoreau seemed more focused on reason; why is slavery wrong? Why should we give them freedom? Is giving them freedom better or worse for them, they have no education, no home no idea how to live? Could they adapt? These examples and many more were questions were raised by Thoreau’s writing even though it was not necessarily about slavery. Using an indirect approach makes it more adaptable to any circumstance. Unlike Douglas, Thoreau did not have a personal experience that he could incorporate into his writings. He was white, never owned slaves and had never been owned yet he knew that it was wrong. He used his intellect to show people how to think about slavery. In his except “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”, he talks about finding a nice place to live, he goes through questions about how his action will change the world around him and really thinks about his decision. This thinking process is exactly what he wanted people to apply to the issue of slavery, Thoreau and Douglas seem to be the exact opposite, Thoreau was a free, white, Harvard educated man while, Douglas was a black, escaped, self-educated slave however, they both and the same moral compass. They as well as many other knew slavery was wrong and use their voices and talents to speak out against this injustice. Their writings as well as their actions make the perfect pair. Douglas more personal while Thoreau more philosophical yet they tie together so flawlessly that they can be associated together without even being written on the same

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