The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail Moral Analysis

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The play, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, is based on the lives of two transcendental men, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson who lived during the mid-19th century and was written as a protest against the Mexican-American War. Emerson is known for his many maxims, which are short statements that express a general truth or rule of conduct. In one of his maxims, “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind,” Emerson argues that nothing is more important than following what one personally believes in. The word sacred is used as a means of something highly regarded or holy and the word integrity is doing what one perceives is morally right. Therefore, Emerson suggests the theme that nothing is more highly regarded than following one’s own belief on what is morally the right thing to do. In the first act of the play, Henry gets into an argument with his friend…show more content…
Henry lives out the maxim, “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind,” throughout the whole play, specifically during a scene with Sam and another scene with Deacon Ball. In the scene with Sam, Henry refuses to pay his taxes as an act against conformity and supporting the war, this eventually results to him ending up going to jail. In addition to his act against conformity as a means of not paying his taxes, he also follows his own belief by teaching the way he wants to and questioning if God is an atheist. Again as a result of his beliefs, he ends up getting in trouble by Deacon Ball. At the end of the day, the way Henry lives his life is considered sacred because despite knowing that there will be consequences to his actions, he still follows through with them due to the fact does not care what others think of how he lives his life, he seeks change and is not afraid to act out his beliefs in order to achieve
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