Henry David Thoreau's Integrity Essay

Henry David Thoreau's Integrity Essay

Length: 596 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Embodiment Of Principle And Integrity Essay example

- The Embodiment of Principle and Integrity Trust oneself, one 's intuition, and one 's nature. According to Emerson 's Self-Reliance, these qualities are essential to contentment and harmony with one 's self. Self-reliance is an appeal to the individual to obey his instincts and to challenge tradition and conventional wisdom. According to Emerson, those who are truly self-reliant have the ability to mark their place in history as great and genuinely creative men. Self-Reliance also plays a major role in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Concord]

Better Essays
1049 words (3 pages)

Analysis Of Henry David Thoreau 's ' Civil Disobedience ' Essay

- Henry David Thoreau starts to become dysfunctional with the government when he’s detained and spends a night in jail. He decides to write an essay titled “Civil Disobedience” where he criticizes the government for certain criteria and says which areas can be improved at. Thoreau’s areas of improvement are centered through the ideas of ethics and the relationship between the individual and the state. Thoreau wrote three parts in this essay; each part having the same agenda but in several of different explanations....   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience]

Better Essays
1122 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The General Argument Made By Henry David Thoreau

- The general argument made by Henry David Thoreau in his work, Civil Disobedience, is that we should not follow laws that we do not morally agree to. More specifically, Thoreau argues that the government should not be heavily involved with people and should give more freedom. He writes “I have paid no poll-tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, two or three feet thick, the door of wood and iron, a foot thick, and the iron grating which strained the light, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up...   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience]

Better Essays
820 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Henry David Thoreau 's Views On The Wall Street Movement

- Thoreau wasn 't one to take advantage of what the world had to offer and just took life what it was, all while following his motto of doing what was right. Thoreau sees the miracles of the world similarly to the Whitman poem because there isn 't a limit to what can be appreciated. There are quite a few modern views that compare well to Thoreau as they take that step away from society defined by technology and progression and just take a look at the bigger picture, one of these approaches is the recent Occupy Wall Street movement....   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience, Protest]

Better Essays
1293 words (3.7 pages)

The Incredible Henry David Thoreau Essay examples

- By the year 1840 the concept of Independence had been forever embedded in American tradition and American government. The value of freedom had yet to be accepted nor granted peacefully. The Revolution released America from the grasp of Britain and it would take yet another war to release the black man from the shackles of slavery. America was still in its infancy; the West was not yet settled, the South was still a confederacy and unity was just a dream. The country was torn by slavery. And some men began to question the integrity of their government....   [tags: Biography]

Better Essays
1084 words (3.1 pages)

Henry David Thoreau And Transcendentalism Essay

- Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. At a very young age he showed a gifted passion for literature and arithmetic. He enjoyed spending his free time in nature to the point where it was almost an obsession. Attending Harvard College at the young age of 16, he was known to be quite rebellious with his views towards what society expected of him. Even from a young age, Thoreau had a defiance for authority, which is exactly why the famed transcendentalist writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson took an interest in him early on during his collegiate years....   [tags: Morality, Ralph Waldo Emerson]

Better Essays
1835 words (5.2 pages)

Transcendental Movement: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau Essay

- To trace the origin of the Transcendental movement one needs to go back to the city of Concord, Massachusetts. There during the early 19th century many well-known and world-renowned authors were following the practices of one man, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, who was considered America's first philosopher, had earlier traveled to Europe and became fascinated by the concepts of one German philosopher known as Kant. According to Emerson's understanding of Kant, there were two pure objects in the world in which are the bases of everything, nature and soul....   [tags: Emerson and Thoreau Essays]

Free Essays
650 words (1.9 pages)

Self-Reliance and Good Citizenship in Henry David Thoreau's Essay, Civil Disobedience

- ... He reinforces this point by likening those who submit without regard for their own consciences to “movable forts or magazines”. He further elaborates by saying, “ The only obligation, which I have the right to assume is to do at anytime what I think is right”(Thoreau 387). Thoreau places critical thinking and principle over blindly following what is dictated by the government. By taking control of their will, men make it impossible to be governed unjustly and can bring about a more just society....   [tags: obiligation, injustice, government]

Better Essays
808 words (2.3 pages)

Justice in Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience Essay

- Justice Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience By definition justice means the quality of being just or fair. The issue then stands, is justice fair for everyone. Justice is the administration of law, the act of determining rights and assigning rewards or punishments, "justice deferred is justice denied.” The terms of Justice is brought up in Henry David Thoreau’s writing, “Civil Disobedience.” Justice has different standards for every group that it is presented upon. Thoreau’s opinions and criticism is strongly stated....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
934 words (2.7 pages)

Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience Essay

- In Thoreau’s essay “Resistance to Civil Government”, Henry David Thoreau outlines a utopian society in which each individual would be responsible for governing himself. His opposition to a centralized government is an effort to disassociate with the American government, which at the time was supporting slavery and unjustly invading Mexico. While the individual rule would work well for Thoreau who is a man of conscience, it does not account for the immoral, dishonest or overly ambitious people in the nation....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]

Free Essays
396 words (1.1 pages)