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The Night Thoreau spent in Jail

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Haley Snowden

on 4 February 2013

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Transcript of The Night Thoreau spent in Jail

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee The Mexican War Henry was a famous author, poet, and philosopher during a period when transcendentalism pervaded throughout the academic culture.

Transcendentalism- This idea that nature and people are inherently pure and that organized institutions, like government and religion, corrupt them.

Henry's main reasoning behind not paying the poll tax was the fear that the money would go towards something that he didn't believe to be right. The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail By Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Henry Thoreau- Main character. The play is based on his early life as a radical transcendentalist. His beliefs are not well accepted by society and he was put into jail for refusal to pay a tax.
Ralph Waldo Emerson-Emerson (referred to in the script as Waldo) appears, for most of the play, middle-aged. He has a wife named Lydia and son named Edward. He does not have much time to spend with his family but he tries hard. He and Henry become good friends but have differences in opinion.
John Thoreau- Henry's older brother. They have the same beliefs but John is more passive he and does not show them as forcefully. he dies of blood poisoning.
Bailey- Thoreau's cellmate in the Concord jail. Henry shares and expresses his idea on life and to Bailey. Thoreau teaches him how to write his name and enspires him to live a full life once he's out of jail. Characters A Different Drummer "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away. The Controversy B-A-Beanpole-Turn the corner- Comb- Tree Jerome Lawrence - Born July 14, 1915 in Cleveland, OH
-Son of Sam and Sarah Lawrence
-father owned a printing company and mother was a poet
-he went to Ohio State University and UCLA for grad school Robert E. Lee - Born October 15, 1918 in Elyria, OH
- Son of Claire and Elvira Lee
- father was an engineer and mother was a teacher (biggest influence)
- he went to Northwestern in Chicago and then transferred to Ohio Wesleyan - Both of their writing abilities were fundamentally shaped by their participation in WWII, during this time they worked as consultants and started the Armed Forces Radio

- This was written during the Vietnam War, so it is completely parallel in reasoning and effect for the protests in both the Mexican and Vietnam wars. This play uses Thoreau's reasoning to explain his views on the Mexican war, but it alludes to the pervading feelings of the protesters of the 1970s. Writing Style This quote summerizes everything that Henry Thoreau represents. He is the oddball among society, but his ideas are so far-reaching, influencing people including Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. This is one of the most memorable moments of the play. It completely represents who Bailey is and what he represents to society. This is the portrayal of what blacks were in the eyes of Americans, childlike. Bailey makes friends with Thoreau almost instantly, he said he would die happy if he learned to write his name, and he has such a simplistic view of life. dat beard. Ralph Waldo Emerson played a major role in the spread of transcendentalism. The Turning Point "Go out upon yourself a hut, there begin the grand process of devouring yourself alive. i see no other alternative, no other hope for you"-Ellenry Channing Once Thoreau had moved to Emerson's land, he had begun to be more rebellious and his beliefs became harsh realities. For a long time, Thoreau had believed that Emerson had the same beliefs as him but as time went on, Thoreau learned differently. Emerson was paying his taxes and fitting in to the rest of society. Shortly, Thoreau acted out which sent him to jail. Censory Paying taxes during war is an important factor of winning the war. This play was written during the Vietnam War. If people decided to not pay their taxes, this would seriously hurt the war efforts. Henry Thoreau "saw no choice with tax dollars that might buy "a man, or a misket to shoot one with." (todayinliterature.com) Thoreau also allowed a runaway slave to dine with him, then freed him on his way to Canada. Momma Thoreau- Thoreau's mother, who has to deal with Thoreau and his backward-thinking mind. Wishes her child could be more normal but respects him and loves him like a mother should.
Ellen Sewell- One of Henry's students and object of affection for both of the Thoreau brothers. Ellen is a very simple character who tries to understand transcendentalism but fails to in the end. She is unable to marry either of them because of her father's disapproval of Transcendentalism.
Deacon Nehemiah Ball- a respected and stern teacher. he is outraged that Thoreau is not teaching from textbooks. He forces Thoreau to flog the students.
Henry Williams- a runaway slave on his way to Canada. Thoreau helps him but Williams is killed. His death has a profound effect on Thoreau. Lawrence and Lee recreated true events in the format of a play, which is normally used for fiction not non-fiction. In this way the historical figures have been characterized in a much more artful and immersive way. This allows us to experience the history more intimately. We can feel and understand transcendentalism rather than only read about it. The play progresses in a hazy, dreamlike, non chronological way. The separate settings and scenes are only distinguishable through subtle changes such as the raising and lowering of lights used in the first scene to let the audience know where to focus their attention. Brief Summery "The Night Thoreau spent in Jail" is based off the early life of Henry David Thoreau, a radical transcendentalist whose unorthodox beliefs are not accepted by society.The play opens on Thoreau who went to jail for refusing to pay a tax that would support the Mexican American war. Thoreau is recalling his life events in a non chronological way to his cellmate, Bailey. Through the play Thoreau shows his beliefs by what he preaches and his civil disobedience. The finale of the play includes Thoreau, freed from jail, running up the aisles of the theatre to the sound of his own different drummer. How did Thoreau teach Bailey how to spell his name?
A. B-A-I-L-E-Y
B. double bubble-arc-eye-zipper-touchdown
C. sideways shades-pyramid-stick-L-E-Y
D. B-A-beanpole-turn the corner- comb-tree At which college was the play first performed?
A.Taylor University
B. Ohio State
C.Wesleyan University
D.M.I.T. What is Henry Thoreau's Middle Name?
A. John
B. William
D. Trouble "The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail" was a ?
C. Poem
D. Musical Why did Thoreau go to Jail?
A. He Murdered John Thoreau
B. He would Not pay his taxes
C. He taught wrong info in school
D.He started a riot. Who bailed Thoreau out of Jail?
B.Ellen Sewell
C. Mother Thoreau
D.Aunt Louisa What happened to John Thoreau?
A. He had a heart attack
B.He lived in the woods with his brother
C. He died of Blood poisoning
D. He married Ellen Sewell Is it a coincidence that Henry Williams ans Henry Thoreau Have the same first name? T OR F
Did Thoreau ever get to march to the beat of his own drum? T OR F Thoreau was fired from being a public school teacher? T OR F
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