Values are a set of principles that define a person at the essence and reflect what they hold to be truly important. They act as like a compass, providing a sense of correctness when on the right track, or internal nudge to correct one's path when drifting off course. In Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Henry David Thoreau is a unique character who strives to live a life in alignment with his values, even if it means going to extreme lengths. The belief that spiritual welfare is of greater importance over financial prosperity and the emphasis on the power of the individual are two out of seven Transcendental values that have the greatest influence on Henry David Thoreau’s actions. Throughout the play, the …show more content…
He stays true to his own opinions against the United States involvement in the Mexican-American War and his value of individualism enables him to put that belief into action through civil disobedience, despite it being a daring and unheard-of act that went against the prevailing views of his community. Although others such as Emerson and Sam urge him to pay the tax and go along with the societal norm, he refuses to comply with a requirement that went against his viewpoint. Thoreau regards the action of “going along” with extreme distaste, comparing it to “ only breathing in and never breathing out! A man can suffocate on courtesy” (13). Exercising what he saw to be the unalienable right, or even obligation, of the individual to develop original thought and determine right or wrong according to their true self, he maintains his own stance even if it meant being arrested and imprisoned. Thoreau's mother describes him as “[a]lways [doing] the right thing, [e]ven if it’s wrong” (94). Collectively, direct and indirect characterization through these quotes clearly indicate how Thoreau seeks to make every decision based upon his own personal beliefs of its morality, independent from societal pressure, and to act upon it
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McCandless was drawn to this idea and saw it as a way to live a more authentic and fulfilling life. He believed that by rejecting society's expectations and material possessions, he could find true freedom and happiness. From "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience," McCandless learned the importance of standing up for his beliefs and following his own conscience, even if it meant going against the norms of society. He saw Thoreau's essay as a call to action, urging individuals to take a stand against injustice and oppression. McCandless was deeply committed to this idea and believed that by living a simple and authentic life, he could find true happiness and
The two authors discuss different societal circumstances in their works, which is why these views clash. In addition, the encouragement of rebellion is another differing view. Thoreau supports the right to rebel if one disagrees with the law or finds it unjust. He accurately claims that “unjust laws exist,” but then prompts the reader by asking if society will “be
In the writing "Civil Obedience" by Henry David Thoreau, I can see the depth he goes into trying to explain how America's government should respect us as much as we respect them. He uses very descriptive words that make me understand where he is coming from. The idea of this writing was to make all of America agree with him and stand up to the government. Thoreau states, "I do not care to trace the course of my dollar, if I could, till it buys a man or a musket to shoot one with — the dollar is innocent — but I am concerned to trace the effects of my allegiance". I feel like in this, he shows how he doesn't necessarily care about the past of the government, or what has happened, rather what will happen.
Active Participant Through Pacifist Disobedience Thoreau's, “On Civil Disobedience”, emphasizes the significant roles that authenticity and activism play in one’s life, which encourage action and renounce determinism. By presenting the main ideas that arise from this essay, I will argue that Thoreau, along with Locke’s Treatise of Government, exhibits ideas affiliated with Libertarianism. In contrast to the belief that a priori knowledge is the only kind of knowledge that expresses certainty about ontological truths, which is independent of external experience, Transcendentalism advances the idea that there is also an internal a priori kind of knowledge which is reliable and expresses each individual’s truth. According to the book, American
" Thoreau wants man to individually think for themselves, and to morally decide what is right and wrong: ‘self-individualism'. Both urge the importance of freeing from traditional
Throughout history there have been many political changes that are either supported, or not, by citizens. In the given passage from, "Civil Disobedience," by Thoreau, a perspective of disagreeing with the government ways, is provided. Thoreau explains how a government should be in comparison to how it really is by utilizing his words to set the tone and mode, imagery to achieve his audience's understanding, and diction to make his writing scholarly. Although tone and mode are not directly stated, you can infer that Thoreau meant for his writing to be taken as serious and powerful. His implementation of words such as, "inexpedient," "execute," " integrity," and "command," makes one think about their lawful rights and reflect on what rights are supported or
The individual's relationship to the state is a concept often entertained abstractly; at variance with this is Civil Disobedience, which analyzes Thoreau's first direct experience with state power in his brief 1846 imprisonment. Thoreau metaphorically detailed his search for virtue in the quote, "The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly." (Thoreau 8) In Civil Disobedience Thoreau as earnest seeker and flawed captive of the conscience concertedly attempts to correct this shortcoming within the context of slavery and the Mexican-American War.
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
The main similarity in the writings of Thomas Jefferson and Henry David Thoreau is the idea of revolution against an abusive government. The main difference is the context in which each document was written, the Declaration of Independence as the colonies were rebelling against Great Britain and forming their own government, and Civil Disobedience as criticisms of the government developed within nearly seventy-five years after the signing of the Declaration. Both Jefferson and Thoreau share ideas of revolution, although overthrowing the government is seen in many cases as illegal. Both documents share a common theme of revolution, and both authors believe the best way to move toward a better government is civil disobedience. Jefferson and Thoreau believe that whether it is the struggle for independence or being freed from injustices of the government, civil disobedience and revolution are necessary in order to live in a society based on freedom.
Thus that a person ought to do as he does and not agree to pay taxes to the state that is in support of such evil customs or practices. While both King and Thoreau triumph in their establishment of a firm perception of what they strongly have faith in, they both are successful in their efforts to persuade through different means. Regarding the manner in which King draws emotional appeal through passionate speech, we also see with Thoreau when he makes apparent that he is devoted in what he stands for. Thus attracting more appeal through being more troubled and concerned instead of being innocently optimistic and hopeful. Nevertheless, similarities weigh against differences as both King and Thoreau give reliability to the moral
It speaks to every individual to look into himself and to think about his deeds as well as about the things he let happened. It is well over a century ago when Thoreau wrote this and many things have changed. On one hand, the question is, if it would be still possible to make a similar stand as Thoreau did. In our time we found a different way to show our revolt. We usually make some small stance to ease up on our conscience, but is it enough just to grab a banner and go into the streets calling out loud?
The transcendentalism time period is described as a time that stressed equality, social responsibility, and the power of the individual. Although this time period had many influential authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were two of the most influential writers of this era. Throughout both Self Reliance, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Civil Disobedience, written by Henry David Thoreau, the lesson of non-conformity to society and the idea that it is each person’s social responsibility to stand up for themselves is discussed. One of Emerson’s main goal of Self Reliance was wanting to explain an important idea of individuality and that humans should not conform to the societal views that were being forced upon them and that