October 07, 2004

Always A Reason to Why We Behave Like We Do

Reading Thoreau's, "Resistence to Civil Government" I had many different feelings towards him. Thoreau strongly disagreed with how the governement acted. He was against the Mexican-American War and could not understand why anyone would support an unjust war. His actions made me feel that he was so stubborn that it hurt him in the long run. Maybe if Thoreau wasn't so stubborn and rude, people would of tried to help him voice his feelings towards the things that he was against.

I was on the web reading different stories of Thoreau because I was trying to see if he always acted so blunt, when I came across an excerpt written by Sanderson Beck called, "The Way to Peace: Thoreau's Civil Disobedience" and I loved it because it explained the story so well and gave answers to some of the questions that I had. For example, who put Thoreau in jail? Who paid is bail? It made me think Thoreau was even more stubborn then I had believed before. Staples said, "Henry, if you don't pay, I shall have to lock you up pretty soon." Thoreau answered him, "As well now as any time, Sam." I could not believe that Thoreau actually wanted to go to jail! His friend, Staples asked him very nicely and even offered to help him out but hardheaded Thoreau refused in the calmest matter. Thoreau wanted to stay in jail so he could call attention to the abolitionist cause and the Mexican War. People in Concord wanted to know the reasons for his going to jail so this is why he wrote, "Resistence To Civil Government."

I have so many mixed feelings towards Thoreau because I just don't understand him. I do think that Thoreau is one of the proudest people that I ever read about. He firmly stood up for what he believed in despite the consequences that followed. Maybe the reason why Thoreau was mad about being let out of jail so early was because noone took what he said seriously. When I was reading his story I was thinking to myself just pay the taxes so you don't make enemies and it would save yourself alot of grief, but at the end of the story I realized he didn't want to contribute to anything that he didn't believe in.

Thoreau probably knew that people were going to have my train of thought towards him. He justifies his charcter by saying, "I have never declined paying the highway tax, becaus eI am a desirous of being a good neighbor as I am being a bad subject; and as for supporting schools, I am doing my part to educate my fellow contrymen now. After comprehending that statement I changed my opinion about Thoreau. I do think that he was a great guy and was determined to stand up for what he believed in. He showed great character throughout his story.

Thoreau was an amazing man who I misjudged at the beginning of his story. I do think he is a great example of showing people how to stand up for what you believe in. I do not think that everyone should just do what they want and refuse to do things that they don't belive in because then that would just leave us with a country that would be total choas. I don't agree with what he did but I respect him for it.

Posted by GinaBurgese at October 7, 2004 03:16 PM

We -just- talked about this piece in my lit class tonight. I really dig the way that Thoreau totally stands up for what he believes in, enough so that he is willing to take the consequences for his actions. The problem, I think, with most of our society is that people -do- simply just pay the taxes in order to not make enemies. I wonder if more people truly stood up for what they believed in if the world would be a better place.

I think chaos is good. Chaos begets change and will eventually settle down into something reasonable and ordered.

Anyway, hi, how you doing? I'm Moira ;c)

Posted by: Moira at October 7, 2004 09:09 PM

Chaos does beget change, however the chaos breaks people and those that may once have had greatness in their future could now perhaps be thrown down or even lost to the chaos. What people need to remember is that they need to stand up for themselves, but also to do what Thoreau did and take responsibility. There are many people in today's society that take a stand, but when it comes down to the decision making time they head the opposite direction of where they want to go just so that they do not have to take responsibility for their actions.


Posted by: Tiffany at October 10, 2004 03:53 PM

Hello. Without getting into the topics discussed, I wanted to thank you for good material and for (via a google search) helping me find some info on Thoreau and his jailtime. I hope that you are still writing, wherever you are.


Posted by: Gray B. at May 26, 2006 02:15 PM
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