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What point is Thoreau making by telling us that he got his shoes fixed and led the...

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darealdeal | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 5, 2010 at 11:28 AM via web

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What point is Thoreau making by telling us that he got his shoes fixed and led the huckleberry party on the day he was released?

 

 

This is from Resistance to Civil Government.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 26, 2010 at 4:17 AM (Answer #1)

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One of the major points that Thoreau is trying to make in this essay is that government (the State) is not a good thing.  It is best to have a government that does not interfere in the lives of the people any more than is absolutely necessary.  Thoreau goes so far as to say that the best government would not govern at all.  This is the point he is trying to make in the passage that you mention.

After being let out of jail, Thoreau wants to get away from the government.  He wants to go out and live his life without government interference.  He emphasizes this by telling us what he did after being released.  Basically, he went about his previous errands as if the state did not exist.  He went and got the shoes that were being mended.  Then he went out with the berry pickers and went off to a hill two miles away where "the State was nowhere to be seen."

By telling us this, Thoreau is showing that the state is not, or should not be, relevant.  He is showing that he can get away from the state completely and that this is what he wants to do in his life.

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