Homework Help

In "Civil Disobedience," how are Thoreau's perceptions of his fellow citizens changed...

user profile pic

h3nry111 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 2, 2010 at 5:54 AM via web

dislike 1 like

In "Civil Disobedience," how are Thoreau's perceptions of his fellow citizens changed by his night in jail?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 2, 2010 at 6:02 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

After he spends his night in jail, it seems as if Thoreau really sees himself as superior to the other people in the society (and to the society itself).   Basically, he seems to be saying that everyone else in the society is too stupid to understand the truth about life.

When Thoreau is locked up, he says, he feels free because what happens to his body is not important.  What is important is that he can think.  He seems to be saying that the other people don't understand that thinking is what is important, not your physical comfort or pleasure.  Thinking is what makes you free.

After he gets out Thoreau also talks about how his fellow citizens don't really care about right or wrong.  They only did what was easiest.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes