An Analysis of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

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The long essay, “Civil Disobedience” was written by Henry David Thoreau to make a statement about the unethical government. He believed, “That government is best which governs least.”
Thoreau starts of by saying, “American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way.” (258) Legislators are constantly putting obstacles in American’s ways. America would have accomplished a great deal more if there weren’t so many obstacles. Trade and commerce are constantly leaping over the hindrances legislators put in their way. Next, Thoreau proclaims, ”The state was half witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know it’s friends from its foes.” (259) Meaning, the state was “shy” and it didn’t know who its friends or enemies were. This is what caused him to lose all respect for and pity the government. To continue, Thoreau says, “If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.” (260) Plants have to have space and time to flourish. If they don’t have what they need another may flourish and put an end to its life. Continuing on Thoreau asks, “Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible to government?”(261) In other words, is the government we have now perfect? Can it not be made better? I believe it can. I also believe Thoreau believed it can, more than believes; he wants it to become better. “I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor.” (261)

To conclude, Henry David Thoreau wrote this essay to state his feelings of disrespect and pity towards the government, that thinks it is perfect and won’t change
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