The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail Questions and Answers

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

At the end of Act 1 of the famous play The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail by Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence, Emerson visits Henry David Thoreau after he has been jailed. Thoreau's motivation for...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2019 1:39 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

I think that you can find modern acts of civil disobedience that strike at the heart of Thoreau's beliefs about how individuals cannot sit idly by when there is perceived injustice in the world....

Latest answer posted January 6, 2010 8:23 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Let us remember that this incident occurs at the beginning of Act II of this brilliant play. Lydian sends Henry and Edward off hunting for huckleberrys, and as they engage in this activity...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2011 7:08 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

The play The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail is a fictionalized account of an actual day in July 1846, when Henry David Thoreau was kept in jail overnight for nonpayment of the annual poll tax. In...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2018 7:58 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

This quote is found in Act I, in my edition, page 20. Here, Thoreau is speaking to Bailey, and thoughtfully commenting on Bailey's position that he is an honorable man who acts with conviction....

Latest answer posted December 28, 2007 10:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

The nightmare scene in the play The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail is a surrealistic manifestation of Henry David Thoreau's frustrations, thwarted idealism, and yearning for men to act upon their...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2017 8:11 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

The nightmare sequence that happens in Act II of the play is symbolic of Thoreau's fear of not being socially active. It is symbolic because he realizes that while he is demonstrating a commitment...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2011 5:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

The play features many moments of Thoreau's resistance being motivated by a sense of personal and conscientious opposition. I would submit that the act of not wanting to pay taxes to a nation...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2010 7:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Henry's dream serves as a catalyst for his new philosophy about change. Prior to the dream, Henry believes that he can impact social change by remaining apart from society in his refuge at Walden....

Latest answer posted June 25, 2013 1:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

In “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail,” Bailey is a fellow prisoner who shares the jail cell – and the main scene -- with Henry Thoreau. The action of the play returns to the two men often. Bailey...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2016 11:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

The theme of freedom arises in various conversations that take place in this play. Naturally, some of this happens in the scenes with Henry and Bailey in the jail cell. But as a Transcendentalist...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2016 1:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

This quote comes as Henry David Thoreau is being served with a notice of tax evasion. Henry has come into town from Walden to have his shoe repaired, and Sam Staples, the constable, stops him and...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2012 6:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Earlier in the essay, Thoreau says that he can support himself by working six weeks out of the year. Thoreau believed that by living simply, he could have much time to give to things he felt were...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2008 8:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

It isn't entirely certain when Thoreau said this or what he meant, but it is rumored to be something he said when Harvard offered him a degree as part of their policy to offer all graduates of the...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2011 10:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

This play was first published in 1970. It was therefore written during the time of growing public protest against America’s involvement in the war with Vietnam. Readers, performers, and audiences...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2016 11:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

In “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail,” we learn that Henry and his brother John run their own school. Unfortunately, their student body has dwindled down to just one student: Edmund Sewell, Ellen...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2016 1:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

This is Henry's answer when he returns home after graduating from Harvard College. His brother John asks him what he plans to do now. Henry replies, "Well, I think I'll think for a while. That'll...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2016 4:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Too much is going on. Too many issues are swirling around in Henry’s head. He learns that a runaway slave he had helped has been caught and killed. He is also disappointed by the behavior of his...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2016 4:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

The appearance of an unseen voice, claimed by Thoreau to be Congressman Abraham Lincoln, shows the specific position of anti-war advocates. While Lincoln presided over a brutal Civil War, the sense...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2012 7:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

This is going to be one of those questions that it is actually quite hard to answer conclusively, as the answer will depend very much on your own individual opinion and ideas, especially concerning...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2011 6:49 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Near the end of the play The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Henry David Thoreau and a fellow prisoner named Bailey discuss Thoreau’s future. Bailey hopes to be...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2011 12:11 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Henry's non- conforming beliefs in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail enhance the play's theme of freedom. Freedom is one of the most important themes in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail. Henry's non-...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2015 10:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

This is a fairly interesting dynamic presence here. Both are believers in Transcendentalism. Yet, the play depicts Emerson as the theoretician who is unable to move his thoughts into action. This...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2010 9:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

This scene comes a little bit in to Act Two. In this play, Henry Thoreau shares a jail cell with a man named Bailey. Bailey is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so to speak. He’s been charged...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2016 1:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

In the play The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, one of Thoreau’s pupils is a boy named Edmund. One day, when Edmund does not show up at school, his sister Ellen...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2012 11:45 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Freedom occupies a central concern in the drama. On the most literal of levels, Thoreau is in jail. The implication is that his freedom is taken from him with being imprisoned. Yet, Thoreau,...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2011 6:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

In the play The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Henry David Thoreau and a fellow prisoner hear the call of a loon. Thoreau asks Bailey if he has ever befriended a...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2011 1:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

One particularly intense quote from Act II comes from an exchange with Emerson and Thoreau about the power of voting and individual belief. The exchange reflects a profound difference between both...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2013 1:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

An aphorism is a wise saying or a maxim. Such quotes often include a bit of wordplay, and they always make us think. Thoreau is one of the most quoted American authors, and his writing is peppered...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2016 11:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Henry's quote about a person's conviction in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail can relate to modern times. Thoreau is talking to Bailey, his cellmate, about why it is essential for individuals to act...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2016 12:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

This topic comes up in the conversation Henry and Ellen have in the rowboat in Act 1. Their discussion covers religion, environmental issues and eventually, love. Ellen: My father says God put...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2016 12:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Like so much in the wor that Thoreau perceives, there is an intricate relationship between he and Emerson. On one hand, there is a natural respect and reverence that Thoreau has towards Emerson....

Latest answer posted November 21, 2011 7:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

This passage comes about nine pages in to Act Two. Bailey, who is another prisoner in the jail, tells Henry that he doesn’t have a lawyer for his trial. He’s impressed with how smart and articulate...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2016 8:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

One element of the drama's style that is significant is its Expressionist style. The stylistic manner of the drama seeks to "bend" reality in accordance to what should be from what is. This style...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2013 12:20 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

The following quote by Henry sums up his view during a conversation with his fellow prisoner as they listen to the footsteps of a man walking outside the jail: I know where he's going. He's going...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2007 1:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Emerson is a source of inspiration for Thoreau. At a time when definition if vague and imprecise, Henry finds Waldo to be the laser- like focus that gives meaning to his own being. Through...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2011 11:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

I think that Thoreau is characterized as "The Now Thoreau" because of the cultural context in which the play was written. One of the fundamental driving forces of the drama is how Thoreau believes...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2011 6:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

“The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail” is a play with unusual staging. Instead of advancing distinctly from one full scene to another – and from a single point in time toward a date in the future – the...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2016 10:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

I think that Thoreau's view of activism is present throughout the drama. I think that he shows a level of change in terms of how activism should look as the drama unfolds. He is in jail because...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2011 4:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

These questions refer to the scene late in Act 1, when Waldo, Lydian, and Henry meet in Waldo’s study. Henry jokes around with Lydian; the two will become friends. Later in the play, he will be...

Latest answer posted August 2, 2016 3:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Curious about this, I did a little research. Although the play was produced over seventy-five times during its first year of production (1970), the play never made it to film. I did find multiple...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2013 2:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Waldo's critique of Henry is one in which the basic value of philosophy is raised. Essentially, the argument here is whether or not Henry's way of life and his philosophy amounts to anything...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2012 9:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

I would actually suggest that in his interactions with Bailey, there exists some moments of paradox in Henry's character. The idea of breaking free from society's chains and standing up for what...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2012 7:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

With the failure of Thoreau's school founded with his brother, Thoreau was in need of finding something to essentially do. In this void, Emerson was able to hire Thoreau as a tutor for his son....

Latest answer posted December 2, 2011 8:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Given the level of public outrage at government, I would say that Thoreau's insistence on public activism would be one element that is highly relevant in the modern setting. When the play ends...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2011 10:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

One of the most basic elements that comes out of the poem is the idea that internal subjectivity, in the form of the brain, is one of the strongest elements in human consciousness. Dickinson makes...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2012 10:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

After Henry finishes his studies at Harvard, he becomes a teacher. However, it isn't very long before he becomes disillusioned by his new career. Not only is the curriculum that he's required to...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2019 9:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

Thoreau's arrest was due to his not paying taxes, a specific passive protest against the Mexican-American War, which he saw as unjust and immoral. He originally traveled to Walden Pond to escape...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2012 3:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

The answer to this question can be usefully linked to the key theme of freedom from the restrictions of society, which is of course a vital element in Thoreau's teachings. Note the way that so many...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2011 4:47 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

I think that Henry's non- conformity is one of the most distinct and passionate character traits revealed in the drama. It is Henry's zeal in respecting his own voice and standing apart from the...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2011 11:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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