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Think Different

Notes on Transcendentalists and Thoreau

Marinna Wessinger

on 28 January 2014

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Transcript of Think Different

Does our society actually value people who are different? Explain your reasoning.
All practiced various forms of
civil disobedence
What is normal?
Transcendentalism: A protest against the general state of culture and society
"When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The father of civil disobedience
Henry David Thoreau
What is normal?
What does it mean
to be normal?

Led India to independence
Inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights, and freedom across the world
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
American events around Thoreau's writing:
-1846: Mexican-American war began
-1848: Thoreau writes "Civil Disobedience"
-1861: American Civil War
Civil Disobedience: The act of refusing to obey certain governmental laws, with the hope to achieve political goals through acts of nonviolence
Normal--Conforming to the standard or the common type; not abnormal
Transcendentalists find their value
in being individuals, not in conforming
to their surroundings.

How did Thoreau participate in civil disobedience?
What else did Thoreau do that made him known
as a transcendentalist?
Thomas Jefferson wrote that government should aid in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thoreau, however, sought to find these things through escaping the government's oversight as he lived alone in nature for two years. Is Thoreau in agreement with Jefferson's view of happiness or against it?
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