The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail Essay

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In the following essay, Woods traces the development of The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail and the significant changes made to its first version.

In The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Lawrence and Lee continued to explore the historic past through fiction in order to comment on the present, using Henry David Thoreau's own name and the names of his friends and fellow citizens of Concord. The play is based on Thoreau's actual incarceration when he refused to pay taxes that would go to support the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. Lawrence and Lee began work on the first draft of the play—originally titled A Different Drummer—in July 1966. Unlike their earlier collaborations, A Different Drummer initially was Lawrence's project alone. The first outline opens with the exchange that was eventually to conclude act 1:

VOICE [Emerson]: Henry, what are you doing in jail?
HENRY (Clutching the...

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This section contains 1,987 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail Study Guide
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The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.