Slavery andunjust laws David Thoreau in theessay “Civil Disobedience” “addressesyou and me: ephemeral human beings who must make their best of their short timeto ask the right questions.”1 Thiswork is important because it talks aboutpeople and government.”David has two representative writings : the “Civil Disobedience” first published in1849 (under a somewhat less impressive title:”Resistance to Civil Government”) and Walden.
2One of the major ideain this essay is the fact that the government refuses to make citizen’s lifeeasier . “Civil disobedience” it is a “manifesto against the mental inertiaof his fellow-citizens”.3 Transcendentalismis the period when David Thoreau created this essay. Not the reason wasimportant, but the individuals liberty.Thoreau says that youcan compete with the illegal actions so that the honest justice can win. Whatannoyed the writer was the immoral actions of The United States, more exactlyit talks about the War, the Mexican War.
The war was not going to bring peaceand understanding was just intended to allow slavery, illegal actions,immorality when we discuss aboutpolitics. The author went to jail at some point in his life and that affected alittle bit his perception about laws. “He thereafter preached the doctrine ofcivil disobedience, i.e. the citizen’s moral duty of correcting a narrow-mindedgovernment.”4″CivilDisobedience” shows that the new days are worst thanthe days when the revolution took placein the citizen’s life. Thoreau wants to show us that obeying the laws by theindividuals means that the citizens become a partner to those who do bad things to the city.
While the government tries to repair theillegal problems people lives are lost. Thoreau explains what was theconsequence when you disobey the rules “I have paid no poll-tax for six years.I was put into a jail once on this account, fore one night.”5After that night, Thoreau was not the same because now he sees the world, hisown town with different eyes . He feels like it is a barrier between him andthe people in town. While he stayed in jail he had time to reflect upon mindand body.
The payment was used by the author as a metaphor in order to show usthe fact that not only in his previous writings, but also in those which cameafter he kept his instinct ofdisobedience. “His demonstrative refusal to pay the poll tax had to be somehowacknowledged by an actual sentence to prison. This act was performed by Thoreauwith the commitment of an actor on a stage.”6People become in his opinion slaves of the law and injustice. Thoreau says that nothing can buy our freedom.”When I came out of prison,-for some interfered, and paid that tax,-I did notperceive that great changes had taken place on the common, such as he observedwho went in a youth, and emerged a tottering and gray-headed man; and yet achange had to my eyes come over the scene,-the town, and State andcountry,-greater than any that mere time could effect.
I saw yet moredistinctly the state in which I lived.”7What Thoreau wants when it comes to laws and government isindividual’s freedom of mind, of choice and of actions. He develops the idea ofindividual’s conscience and the belief that any cries could be solved by peaceful means. “what sortof emolument can pay us for selling our freedom-which is basically our freedomof mind? How much money should employers count on to buy a thinker’sconscience? This will only take us back to the old dilemma of Dr. Faustus…”8David Thoreau wasconsidered by many people an anarchist “his writings and his actual life-storyis one of the most vivid particularities of Thoreau’s works.”9The author no longerrespects the laws created by the government.
He does not believe anymore in theConstitution not even in the State.”In most cases there is no free exercisewhatever of the judgment or of the moral sense.”10Government in Thoreau’sopinion is something imaginary an idea that people choose to live by. Heencourages civil disobedience because you develop a sense of moral andrightness 1 Peiu, Anca, Romantic Readings of Selfhood in ClassicAmerican Literature, Bucuresti, Editura C.H.
Beck, 2017, pp.88.2Ibid.pp.88.
3 Ibid, pp.88.4 Peiu, Anca, Romantic Readings of Selfhood in ClassicAmerican Literature, Bucuresti, Editura C.H.Beck, 2017, pp.89.5 Thoreau, H. David, On TheDuty Of Civil Disobedience, ElegantE-books, 1849, PDF e-book created by Jose Menendez.
pdf), pp.18.6 Peiu ,Anca, Romantic Readings of Selfhood in ClassicAmerican Literature, Bucuresti, C.H.
Beck, 2017, pp.92.7 Thoreau, H. David, On TheDuty Of Civil Disobedience, ElegantE-books, 1849, PDF e-book created by Jose Menendez., (https://www.
8 Peiu, Anca, Romantic Readings of Selfhood inClassic American Literature, Bucuresti, C.H.Beck, 2017, pp.93.9 Ibid, pp.
89.10 Thoreau, H. David, On TheDuty Of Civil Disobedience, editura Elegant Ebooks, 1849, PDF ebookcreated by Jose Menendez., (https://www.ibiblio.org/ebooks/Thoreau/Civil%20Disobedience.pdf), p.5-6.