Henry David Thoreau Writing Styles in Civil Disobedience, and Other Essays

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Perspective

In both subject and point of view, Thoreau casts himself as outside society. His essays and addresses criticize what he feels is mindless conformity among his fellow citizens and he is often entreating them to join him by removing themselves from the social conventions that are inhibiting them.

Thoreau removes himself from political society when he refuses to pay his poll tax, as he describes in "Civil Disobedience." There is a higher justice that the present government does not recognize, Thoreau argues, and when this happens it is a citizen's moral duty to remove himself from the governed, he claims. He describes the strange looks he receives from his neighbors after he is released from jail for not paying his tax, which accentuates his sometime outsider status even in his own small community.

Thoreau is often critical of the newspapers of his day and critical of their readers...

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This section contains 663 words
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Buy the Civil Disobedience, and Other Essays Study Guide
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