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Tala Hassan

Dr. Warren Tormey


NOV 12, 2021

Professor comment:

Updated feedback, 11/18:  

I’m wondering if you had a chance to read my feedback to your earlier submission. There I suggested (i.e. directed) you to write about “Huckleberries,” which we read, and to focus less on “Civil Government,” which we didn’t read (and which has actually fairly little to do with our course’s subject matter.  While you’ve reworked (and shortened) this essay, there’s still no mention of “Huckleberries” or of any other aspect of Thoreau’s writing about nature—and given our subject matter, this topic needs to be addressed appropriately.  To that end, let’s keep the grade as it is and you’re certainly welcome to submit an essay on “Huckleberries” if you wish to make another try at improving your score. 

Henry David Thoreau’s “Resistance of Civil Government”

Writer Thoreau has been actively interested in the trade of writing for a long length of time. He is best known for his book Walden. Several of his works were written to aid folks in better comprehending their immediate surroundings. The author was born on July 12 in 1817, on this day in history. He passed away suddenly a few years later, in the year 1862. He published a range of works, including poetry, essays, and philosophical studies, among others. Thoreau’s book, Resisting Civil Government, was a collection of essays that he wrote during his literary career. The purpose of his book was to encourage people to be disobedient against the government. He led by example by refusing to pay taxes for his poll. He wanted other people to follow suit because the government was greedy, only to be unfair after securing its interests from people.

A considerable influence on his writing may be traced back to him. Despite the passage of time, his work was not restricted to a certain historical period since his works may still be relevant to modern life despite the passage of time. The history of leadership may be traced back to him and continues today when the civil government is still in power. People benefit from his work because it helps them better comprehend what they must do to avoid or resist implementing civil laws when the situation necessitates it. His works help people to stop the government from unfairness. People refer to his work and find for what is rightfully theirs.

According to Thoreau’s book “Resistance of Civil Government,” which was first published in 1841, individuals have a moral duty to reject laws that they believe are unfair to them and their rights as citizens. This two-part essay by Henry David Thoreau starts with considering the differences between conscience and expediency, and it concludes with a call to action in the second half. In accordance with the government’s tradition, he believes that laws should be followed at all times and without exceptions, regardless of the circumstances. Through Thoreau’s works, we may have a better understanding of the point of view of an opponent of lawbreaking who thinks that laws should not be disregarded regardless of whether they are ethically acceptable or not. Affirming slavery’s unjustness and lamenting the lack of changes that should have taken place did not lead him to expand on the unfairness of slavery. He feels that the government civil government want to continue oppressing people whenever it can. For this reason, it will want to collect taxes even from the oppressed people but fail to protect everyone.

This piece of writing is dedicated to his thoughts on the moral fairness of laws, which he feels to be an essential issue in American society. According to his explanation, the reason for his sacrifice of prison time is a result of an unpaid poll charge that he did not pay. His personal experience continues to corroborate his assertion because, even when incarcerated, his thoughts and beliefs were not restricted by the jail system, as he points out. This use of ethos boosted the credibility of his whole argument since he now had his personal experience talking about violating the law because he believed the law was unjust to share with the audience, which raised the credibility of the rest of his argument. As for identifying with a state in which he did not believe, Thoreau believed that moral commitment was more important than his desire to obey the law, which he felt was unfair when associating with the state. Thoreau displays his moral justifications for ethically ignoring limits that he thought to be unjust in the first place. He ignores that the government has total power over its people. He opens people’s eyes that the government is there to serve them but manipulate them the way it wishes. If the government was unjust towards its people, they had the right to stop such an unfair government.


“Henry David Thoreau.”, A&E Networks Television, May 27, 2021,

Furtak, R. A. (2017, March 3). Henry David Thoreau. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from

Thoreau, H. D. (2013). Resistance To Civil Government [Civil Disobedience] (pp. 145-171). Yale University Press.

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