Thoreau’s call against authority is not limited to an “unjust” government alone, but also to those who mindlessly serve it (and call themselves “good citizens”) and even to those who have minor positions within that government. These people, as Thoreau says, are “such a man as an American government can make” (844). Thoreau questions if these people are even human, and compares them to having the same worth as “horses and dogs.” These people are devout in their service to their country and to their government, but, as Thoreau acknowledges, a slight shift in purpose and distinction, and these people are likely to “serve the devil, without intending it, as God” (845). Even with a lower-ranked position, like a “tax-gatherer” or “any public officer,”...
... middle of paper ...
...e themselves: they are the ones who produce; they are the ones who vote; they are the ones who bring stability, and prosperity, to the country. Thinking that it is the government that does all this is largely misconceived and inaccurate, as Thoreau would argue. If more people were to understand this, if they were to understand the magnitude of their influence and their capability, this would ensure not only a “better” government but also a better, freer, and fairer state for all citizens.
In his essay, “Resistance to Civil Government,” Henry David Thoreau calls to act upon the corruption and unjust ways of the government and of authority. One should not have a devout allegiance to these entities, for one should instead acknowledge oneself as an entity in his or her own right. With this comes a certain amount of non-conformity, of distinctiveness, and of self-reliance.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau aspired to write captivating literature simply by traveling and adventuring his close surroundings for inspiration one of his groundbreaking part of literature ever written by Thoreau is Walden. In Walden, Thoreau showed many different sides of himself as stated “Thoreau presented himself in Walden as an exemplary figure who-by virtue of his philosophical questioning, economic good sense, nonconformity and appreciative observation of the natural world.” (Henry David Thoreau 961) The Resistance to Civil Government was another substantial piece of literature written by Thoreau, in this piece of literature it speaks of Thoreau, after spending one night i... [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience]
1404 words (4 pages)
- In Henry David Thoreau 's Resistance to Civil Government, there is a continuous running attitude of civil unrest. The philosopher and writer heavily influenced the political movements of his time and of future events by refusing to subscribe to political and cultural norms. At one point, Thoreau stated that he believed, “That government is best which governs not at all” (964). Thoreau’s steadfast attitude is still alive today. This attitude can be compared to the political unrest caused this year by Donald Trump running for President of the United States.... [tags: Civil disobedience, Henry David Thoreau]
1154 words (3.3 pages)
- In his essay, “Resistance to Civil Government,” often times dubbed, “Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) argues against abiding to one’s State, in protest to the unjust laws within its government. Among many things, Thoreau was an American author, poet, and philosopher. He was a firm believer in the idea of civil disobedience, the act of refusing to obey certain laws of a government that are felt to be unjust. He opposed the laws regarding slavery, and did not support the Mexican-American war, believing it to be a tactic by the Southerners to spread slavery to the Southwest.... [tags: civil disobedience, minimum government]
1381 words (3.9 pages)
- Would everyone like to see how the community is affected . The community and neighborhood is facing some major consequences. According to “Excerpts Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau described how this one person refused to pay the taxes to the government he decides to say something but his saying resulted to him being sent to prison for trying to stand up to the government. The government has not been telling us the actual issues . Based on the excerpt from the “Civil Disobedience” there are exactly three main points to the story.... [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience]
1708 words (4.9 pages)
- Although they bear some smashing similarities, the difference between Socrates and Thoreau’s arguments are they both believe that humans are only virtuous beings. And that their views on people and the government are divergent. In “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, he wrote an essay in 1849 about the American policies being criticized it argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or impair their consciences, and how the American slavery and Mexican-American war was going on.... [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience, Plato]
714 words (2 pages)
- Favorites Thoreau, boldly strides to the podium of the American society, as he addresses his audience with the theory of the American government and how it operates. Indeed, Henry David Thoreau is far from bashful, and speaks sincerely, in the narrative entitled “Civil Disobedience”. Thoreau presents an astonishing approach concerning the wellbeing of humanity, and clarifies that all citizens have a responsibility to achieve change, when the government impulse cause grief or inconvenient circumstances among society.... [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience]
1038 words (3 pages)
- Throughout the course of history people across the world have protested and fought for what they believed in. Henry David Thoreau, after spending a night in jail for failure to pay the poll tax, wrote a well-known essay titled “Resistance to Civil Government,” which was later renamed “Civil Disobedience.” Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience would later influence generations of activists including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi (Mass Moments: Henry David Thoreau Spends Night in Jail).... [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience]
705 words (2 pages)
- Previous generations have opposed wars that promoted oppression, they fought for human rights. By engaging in these activities these individuals had to go against a higher power. They had to disagree with the system and how it operates. Therefore, they engaged in the act of civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is an active, refusal way of obeying certain laws, demands, and commands of a government or higher power. There are many individuals who have previously engaged in the act of civil disobedience people such as; Mahatma Gandhi, Henry Thoreau, Martin Luther King, college students in the 1960s and many more.... [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience]
1224 words (3.5 pages)
- ... 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]
808 words (2.3 pages)
- Throughout a series of books, and now movies known as Divergent they hit a lot of points as to what is believed as a “good society”. In the series, Divergent all must conform and fall into a certain category Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Candor, or Amity . If one fails to do so, and falls into all of the categories they are known as “Divergent," and must be killed for failing to conform to traditional society standards and rules. This relates to Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, because he talks about humans not needing a form of structure set by a hierarchy, such as a government.... [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience]
1024 words (2.9 pages)