Thoreau Essay From Walden Pond Essay Research — страница 2
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Thoreau brings up a significant point. A point that makes me question my own beliefs. ” but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say break the law,” (134) are the words that echo in my mind. These words conjure up images of slavery, the Underground Railroad, and the fugitive slave acts. All of these were the harsh reality of Thoreau. I cannot honestly say that I would rather return a person to slavery, then break the law. I believe the Thoreau brought up the issue of slavery for just this reason, to show how poignantly wrong the government can be. How can any person be expected to obey a government that eludes human rights in such a way? Thoreau has made his point. Now I am not sure what I believe. I know I should obey the law, but what if the laws set up by the government are wrong? Where should I look to then? As Thoreau said ” we should be men first and subjects afterwards”(128). I shall first answer to my conscience, before I answer to anything or anyone else. According to Thoreau, by thinking for myself and allowing my conscience to guide me, I have become a part of the wise minority. I am now going against the majority rule and doing what I think is right. Why should the wise minority have the right to disobey the majority? As Thoreau has pointed out, the majority does not follow a conscience. It was the majority that allowed slavery. It is this wise minority, the people that speak out, that initiate change and make the nation stronger. If the government were left ” uncorrected by the seasonable experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations”(146). If the majority is left alone, contented with itself, then no change will ever come about. This gives the minority the right to disobey. To better themselves and the nation, the minority must break the laws that question their morals. No person should have to ” resign his conscience to legislature”(128). Every person should think for himself or herself; everyone is capable of deciphering right from wrong. Thoreau believed in the individual. There is power in the individual person and the government should recognize it as ” a higher and independent power “(146). The questions of whether you should break unjust laws, and if the minority has the right to break the law are both important to Thoreau’s beliefs. Thoreau involves his readers by asking these questions. The questions force the reader to evaluate their own beliefs and question the role of government in their lives. Perhaps as we proceed into the next millennium, Thoreau’s hope of a government that recognizes the individual will become our reality. “A State which bore this kind of fruit and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State “(146).