Resistance to Civil Government: Thoreau Essay

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The title is an important aspect that should be considered and not misinterpreted. When this essay was first published it was under the title “Resistance to Civil Government”. The resistance in his title is later used as metaphor that compares the government to that of a machine. The machine is producing injustice therefore he says “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go; perchance it will wear smooth — certainly the machine will wear out.” He furthers this metaphor by saying “Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.” After the death of Thoreau his essay was retitled “Civil Disobedience”. For the purpose of this essay civil is meant as “relating to citizens…show more content…
The goal of this style is to be able to convince the readers that your statements are better and more valid than anybody else’s. There are three categories for the means of persuasion which are; Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. Thoreau uses these means pf persuasion very well throughout his essay to convince his audience. Thoreau’s essay represents his beliefs about the government in 1849. He uses several logos with credible examples, and uses the emotions of the audience to support his argument. The first example of logos he uses is when he says, “The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government.” His claim is that it is unconstitutional to have an army standing or ready when everything is peaceful. The government should act under this same rule; if there is peace then the government should not be standing so to speak. Throughout the essay he continues to provide credible examples of why the government abuses its power and is useless; such as when he says “Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the 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
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