Henry David Thoreau Essay

756 words - 3 pages

"We go westward," he said, "as into the future, with a spirit of enterprise and adventure." A naturalist and author, Henry David Thoreau made a difference in the nation, made an effect on the world, and made a change in government. Prior to my knowledge, he was a man unto himself who look at society and government and found them lacking in nearly every respect. His outstanding writings became classics of American literature. During the civil-rights movement in the twentieth century, Henry David Thoreau's teachings of nonviolent resistance became very impressive in the eyes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and related to incidents of the nonviolence prostests.Henry was an individualist but of unusually American type expressing his own reasons to despise the American government, wrote classics, and created teachings that influence citizens in the twentieth century.Having knowledge of Thoreau's respect of government and perspective of the society, it has influenced my reading. One of the foremost representatives of our historical society, Thoreau believed opposition to public injustice should include breaking unjust laws, and he lived according to his predictions. Thoreau's perspective was a much longer-held and traditional sentiment government was "That government is best which governs least." In addition to, he vowed not to support a government that permitted slavery and waged a war against Mexico. He helped free slaves through the Underground Railroad. Therefore, he disliked the government because of their wrongdoing to the citizens' minds in our society. While reading his text, I viewed the many reasons of his dislike for the government and the meaning behind his refusal to pay the toll tax. His perspective about government caused him to write Civil Disobedience that acknowledged him as great writer.Being an author of international stature, his words can still move and inspire American citizens in our nation. In 1960, he was elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans for his books published during his lifetime. Knowing his popularity as an author, it gave my mind a reason to entwine into his reading. In one of his other writings, Walden; or, Life in the Woods, he describes freshly and vividly the changing seasons and other natural events and scenes he observed. He also kept a journal...

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