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Henry David Thoreau's Integrity Essay

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Henry David Thoreau's Integrity


Although his actions were admirable and act as evidence to integrity, the writings of Henry David Thoreau and Emerson reveal a haughty and pretentious individual. Thoreau's courage was noble. He was quick to immerse himself in his beliefs
and abandon any obligation to social norms despite the risk in damaging his
reputation. His rejection of societal limitations and steadfast individualism was truly commendable, however, his mannerisms were extremely rude. He cast aside all tact and consideration of others because he was so consumed with himself. “He coldly and fully stated his opinion without affecting to believe that it was the opinion of the company. It was of no consequence, if every one present held the opposite opinion.” (p. 1237) The motivations for a number of his decisions seem unclear. Integrity and discipline can be easily confused with conceit and narcissism. The extent of his appeal can be argued because his actions can be interpreted in a negative or positive light, depending on the audience.

Thoreau was quick to retur...


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