Henry Thoreau Essay Research Paper Henry David

9 September 2017

Henry Thoreau Essay, Research Paper

Henry Thoreau Essay Research Paper Henry David Essay Example

Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts, on July 12, 1817. He was born to parents that were really intelligent, yet hapless and insignificant. Despite their battle with poorness, & # 8220 ; their place was a centre of fondness and vivacity. & # 8221 ; Thoreau was the 3rd of four kids and he showed an early love of nature and was the & # 8220 ; scholar & # 8221 ; of the household, traveling on to larn many linguistic communications. Because Henry showed so much promise as a pupil, his parents sent him to Concord Academy. He subsequently went on to go to Harvard College. With the aid of his aunts, and by making uneven occupations and tutoring, he managed to afford the tuition. Interestingly plenty, he graduated from Harvard in 1837 as an honor pupil and a talker at beginning, yet he was still unknown. During his life-time, Thoreau tried his manus at an mixture of uneven occupations. His first experiment was with instruction. He, along with his older brother John, opened a private school, but the school was forced to shut down after John became badly in 1841. He lived with his friend and fellow bookman Ralph Waldo Emerson, maintaining house and making jobs in exchange for rent and board. In 1843, he journeyed to the place of Emerson s brother William to tutor. Soon after the decease of John in 1842, Thoreau went to populate at Walden Pond, partly as a testimonial to his darling brother. When he returned from Walden in September of 1847, he once more performed an mixture of occupations. He hired himself out as a painter, carpenter, Mason, or a day-laborer believing & # 8220 ; the business of a day-laborer to be the most independent of any, & # 8221 ; he besides became interested in appraising land and went on to go one of the best surveyors in Concord. He even made clip to lend to the household pencil-making concern by contriving a graphite floatation procedure which made Thoreau pencils superior to those of rivals. During his travels, Thoreau besides lectured on issues such as bondage. He was an effectual talker, but lacked Emerson s accomplishment of to the full pass oning with his audience. His last jaunt was made to Minnesota in 1861. He left, trusting that the trip would better his wellness, which had been badly damaged by bronchitis several old ages earlier. The Minnesota trip weakened him further doing him to decease shortly afterwards to tuberculosis on May 6,1862. Despite his short life, he suffered many grudges. He was engaged to be married to Ellen Seawall immature in life, but she left him for his older brother and best friend John. Subsequently on she besides dumped John for another adult male go forthing the two brothers bosom broken. Two old ages subsequently, his brother of tetanus at the age of 27. That twelvemonth his sister besides died ; she was 36. These events left him saddened and partly caused his retreat to Walden. Thoreau wrote many things while he was alive, and many of his narratives and essays gained much acclamation after his decease. He began composing Journals, a daily recording of many of his thoughts and observations. It would travel on to cross about 14 volumes and go a depot of advanced thoughts. During his life, The Transcendental Club ( of which he was a member ) published & # 8220 ; The Dial & # 8221 ; ( 1840-44 ) a magazine to which he contributed many essays and verse forms. However, besides the essay & # 8220 ; Civil Disobedience, & # 8221 ; Thoreau would likely ne’er have become a authoritative author if he had non

written Walden. Walden was written during Thoreau s stay at Walden Pond, an jaunt

which lasted over 2 years. Walden was written as Thoreau conducted his “experiment in living.” The 26 months he spent at his cabin at Walden Pond were condensed into a work spanning one year. It took him many drafts and nearly 10 years before he could eventually publish the book in 1854. It did not gain immediate popularity, but it has stood the test of time, gaining status as a classic novel, well worth being read. As one reader commented: Almost all of the richness of Thoreau is in Walden. In is revelation of the simplicity and divine unity of nature, in his faith in man, in his own sturdy individualism, in his deep-rooted love for one place as an epitome of the universe, Thoreau reminds us of what we are and what we yet may be. Many of Thoreau’s political views stemmed from the fact that he took an early interest in abolition. He spoke at several antislavery conventions, especially in the Northern states. He was the first person to defend John Brown after the raid on Harper s Ferry. He did so in an October 30 speech in Concord, Mass., solidly aligning himself with the radical sector of the antislavery movements. He believed Brown to be ” A man of rare common sense and directness of speech, as of action: a transcendentalist above all, a man of ideas and principles,” Two of his famous essays, “Slavery in Massachusetts” (1854) and ” A Plea for John Brown” (1859), display his strong feelings about the abolitionist movement. One of his most famous works is “Civil Disobedience,” (1849), and it is considered to be the most widely read of all American essays. In 1845 while living at Walden Pond, Thoreau refused to pay the poll tax. He was resisting slavery, as paying the tax to essentially gave support in Congress to southern leadership, represented by the Mexican War and by appalling laws concerning slavery. His refusal to pay the tax led to a night in jail, after which an anonymous source paid the tax for him. “Civil Disobedience” gave birth to “the concept of pacific resistance as the final instrument of minority opinion. The essay includes many transcendental themes including: celebration of the individual, non- conformity, the rights of the minority, and a new kind of government with the potential to be greater than democracy. He was not an anarchist, but he did believe “that government is best which governs least.” He also believed the following: That men s lives are more important than the state, for the state is the servant and not the master of men, and that man is duty-bound to resist the state if it encroaches upon his integrity. He was a strong believer in passive resistance writing: “Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them and obey them until we have succeeded, shall we transgress them all at once A minority is powerless when it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority them; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight.” It is believed by many that after writing “Civil Disobedience” he imagined that the masses would eventually begin passive resistance against the government. In the century that has passed, the state has grown larger and the individual smaller than he ever could of imagined as he penned: There will never be a really free and enlightened state, until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.

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