Analysis Of The Poem ' Civil Disobedience ' By Henry David Thoreau

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A Change in Perspective Two summers in a row I travelled to Mexico for a mission trip with my church. It was one of the most eye opening experiences in my whole life. I made lifelong friends, prayed for the sick, taught English to kids at schools, shared testimonies, and helped build a church and a nursery. Before going to another country I was ignorant to the problems others faced. In the essay “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, Thoreau spent a night in jail for refusing to pay his taxes. After his night in jail, the author has a perspective change about the people around him (his “neighbors”) and the state. Before he went to jail he thought of his neighbors as friends who were civil when it did not cost them anything and he believed they shared common beliefs. But after Thoreau was imprisoned he says “that they did not greatly purpose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions, as the Chinamen and Malays are; that in their sacrifices to humanity, they ran no risks, not even to their property; that after all they were not so noble but they treated the thief as he had treated them,…” Now Thoreau no longer considers that there are any shared beliefs between him and his neighbors. To learn to see the world from a new perspective is important because it can show one where the problems in their life are inhibiting one to live life to its full potential. Now that I have experienced what it was like in other
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