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Civil Disobedience

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by

Connor Smith

on 2 April 2018

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Transcript of Civil Disobedience

Point Of View
Thoreau establishes the point of view that government is too overpowering, forcing the people how to think and giving strict options with no real choices.
Paragraphs 9-14
Abby, Edwin, Amanda, Connor
Quote
"They [the government] force me to become like themselves... What sort of life were that to live? When I meet a government which says to me, 'Your money or your life,' why should I be in haste to give it my money (paragraph 14)."
Civil Disobedience
Central Ideas
Thoreau says how injust and just men are imprisoned. Thoreau is saying that undera government who punishes people injustly, they also imprison innocent people. so he says that in these governments, no one is innocent.
Quote
"Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also prison (paragraph 13)."
Development of ideas
Over the course of the essay, Thoreau goes about talking about how the government is corrupt. For example, "But, if I deny the Authority of the state when it presents its tax - bill, it will soon take and waste all my property, and so harass me and my children without end (paragraph 11)." Thoreau says that this makes it impossible for a man to live honestly.
Summary
Through out the paragraphs, Thoreau constantly mentions imprisonment throughout the paragraphs. Also, he talks about how if he doesn't pay his poll taxes, the state will take everything he owns. from which he then goes to say "This makes it impossible for a man to live honestly, and at the same time comfortably in outward respects (paragraph 11)." Lastly, he goes to show again how the government is corrupt
Why does Thoreau claim that "true place for a just man is also a prison"(part 2, par 9.)?
A just man who speaks his mind has just as much influence as a man in prison does. His voice doesn't really matter in the final aspects of the government. Thoreau is saying that any man with a free spirit might as well be in prison because that is how government treats them.
Questions
What role does prison play in Thoreau's "peaceable revolution"
(part 2, par. 9)?
Thoreau could achieve a peaceable revolution if people take it upon themselves to resign from their office positions and refuse tax. This would put people in prison but the message of the revolution would forcibly get around thus making he revolution successful.
Full transcript