The Power of Print

Better Essays
Matthew Rongstad
Dr. Daniel Horner
ENGL 101
3 March 2013
The Power of Print Henry David Thoreau and James Baldwin were two talented writers with different writing styles who lived in very different periods of our U.S. history. Both of these writers had to completely different views about the world and lived during a time when the country was defining civil equality. Even though both of these writers were so different from one another they both were deeply affected by the social issues of their time. Henry Thoreau and James Baldwin were both criticized for their point of view on civil injustice, nevertheless both writers managed to influence some of the same important people in our history; who fought for the advancement of civil rights. Both of these writers grew up with completely different social backgrounds and family structure. During the time of both of their lives; there was considerable conflict in the world and neither writer agreed with violent actions as a solution. Although both of these writers were not taken seriously for most of their lives; decades later their literary works have been instrumental in impacting the way that people view civil rights, this is a good example of how a powerful writer can leave a lasting effect on their reader. Henry Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817 in Concorde, Massachusetts into a modest English family. Henry had extremely poor health due to contracting tuberculosis in 1835. Henry was a well-educated man, receiving a bachelor's degree from Harvard University, he would have received a Master’s degree, but he refused to pay the five dollar fee because it was written on sheepskin vellum. Henry's comment was:" Let every sheep keep its own skin"(“Henry David Thoreau”). Henry had a close connection with nature that began early in his life; he was often referred to as a naturalist. In Henry Thoreau’s essay Night and Moonlight “there is no man but would be better and wiser for spending them out-of-doors"(Thoreau 226).

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