An analysis of the role of government in henry david thoreaus work

Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? He wants to conform to the laws of the land, but current laws are not honorable from a higher point of view.

The last paragraph is about John Field, by comparison with Thoreau "a poor man, born to be poor. Why has every man a conscience, then? Good books help us to throw off narrowness and ignorance, and serve as powerful catalysts to provoke change within.

In a constitutional republic like the United States, people often think that the proper response to an unjust law is to try to use the political process to change the law, but to obey and respect the law until it is changed.

Thoreau writes, "Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Gandhi used it as a text for his civil disobedience campaigns in Africa and India; and it was frequently cited by Martin Luther King, Jr.

He describes the turning of the leaves, the movement of wasps into his house, and the building of his chimney. A second printing was issued inwith multiple printings from the same stereotyped plates issued between that time and He waits for the mysterious "Visitor who never comes.

Analysis of Henry David Thoreau’s “Resistance to Civil Government” Essay Sample

Thoreau thus proposes a theory of minimal government. He states his purpose in going to Walden: I think we should be men first, and subjects afterward.

Rebirth after death suggests immortality. He writes of Cato Ingraham a former slavethe black woman Zilpha who led a "hard and inhumane" lifeBrister Freeman another slave and his wife Fenda a fortune-tellerthe Stratton and Breed families, Wyman a potterand Hugh Quoil — all people on the margin of society, whose social isolation matches the isolation of their life near the pond.

Thoreau argues that by answering to the majority, democracies answer the desires of the strongest group, not the most virtuous or thoughtful. In their view, Nature is the outward sign of inward spirit, expressing the "radical correspondence of visible things and human thoughts", as Emerson wrote in Nature He concludes the chapter by referring to metaphorical visitors who represent God and nature, to his own oneness with nature, and to the health and vitality that nature imparts.

The authority of government, even as such as I am willing to submit to … is still an impure one: He concludes "The Ponds" reproachfully, commenting that man does not sufficiently appreciate nature.

Thoreau opens "Solitude" with a lyrical expression of his pleasure in and sympathy with nature. He was released the next day when "someone interfered, and paid that tax". Instead he sought a middle ground, the pastoral realm that integrates nature and culture.

Harvard College offered it to graduates "who proved their physical worth by being alive three years after graduating, and their saving, earning, or inheriting quality or condition by having Five Dollars to give the college.

Whereas his own country had had its revolution, in Canada history had failed to turn. Harvard College offered it to graduates "who proved their physical worth by being alive three years after graduating, and their saving, earning, or inheriting quality or condition by having Five Dollars to give the college.

As it is, government rarely proves useful or efficient. The house has been restored by the Thoreau Farm Trust, [22] a nonprofit organization, and is now open to the public.

He jested that all he got from this adventure "was a cold. However, Thoreau argues that we have not only the right, but indeed the duty, to rebel.

Among his famous aphorisms is his advice to "live at home like a traveler. It exists because the people have chosen it to execute their will, but it is susceptible to misuse. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi used this interpretation to suggest an equivalence between Thoreau's civil disobedience and his own satyagraha.

The meanness of his life is compounded by his belief in the necessity of coffee, tea, butter, milk, and beef — all luxuries to Thoreau.

His comments on the railroad end on a note of disgust and dismissal, and he returns to his solitude and the sounds of the woods and the nearby community — church bells on Sundays, echoes, the call of the whippoorwill, the scream of the screech owl indicative of the dark side of nature and the cry of the hoot owl.

The quiet militancy of passive resistance mirrors a deep resoluteness. The one that is intended in this case is "relating to citizens and their interrelations with one another or with the state", and so civil disobedience means "disobedience to the state".Civil Disobedience study guide contains a biography of Henry David Thoreau, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Thoreau asserts that government as an institution hinders the accomplishment of the work for which it was created. It exists for the sole purpose of ensuring individual freedom. Denying an interest in abolishing government, he states that he simply wants a better government. Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice.

A summary of Section One in Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Civil Disobedience and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

A short Henry David Thoreau biography describes Henry David Thoreau's life, times, and work. Also explains the historical and literary context that influenced Civil Disobedience.

Welcome to the new SparkNotes! and the text was published in under the title Resistance to Civil Government. A summary of Section One in Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience.

Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Civil Disobedience and what it means.

Thoreau, Emerson, and Transcendentalism

Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

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An analysis of the role of government in henry david thoreaus work
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