Civil Disobedience Questions and Answers
by Henry David Thoreau

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Which of the three appeals dominates in paragraph 21, where Thoreau gives the government a human face, in "Civil Disobedience" by Henry David Thoreau?

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Thoreau is arguing that "honest" citizens of Massachusetts who wish to oppose slavery should do so by refusing to pay taxes. The "face" of the government is the tax collector, and the test here is also one for the tax collector himself, a "voluntary" agent of the government:

How shall he ever know well what he is and does as an officer of the government, or as a man, until he is obliged to consider whether he shall treat me, his neighbor, for whom he has respect, as a neighbor and well-disposed man, or as a maniac and disturber of the peace[?]

It is a test not of logic or legality, but of simple decency. Thoreau goes on to argue that "if one HONEST locked up in the county jail therefor [for failure to pay taxes] it would be the abolition of slavery in America."

It's not a simple thing to say which rhetorical appeal is...

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