Unit 6 THREADS ENG241 - Forum Discussion#6...

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Forum: Discussion #6: Transcendentalism #1: Transcendental - General Discussion Henry David Thoreau shows transcendental thinking in his piece, “Resistance to Civil Government”. Since his death, his writings have continued to provoke generations of readers to consider their thinking to society and nature (961). “Thoreau attended the informal meetings of the New England Transcendentalists that convened irregularly in Emersons study” (961). Thoreau followed Emerson, in his thoughts and beliefs. With his encouragement, Thoreau published many writings and books (961). In the “Resistance to Civil Government,” Thoreau mentions how he accepts the government that governs the least to be the best kind of government. He further states, “That government is best which governs not all; and when men are prepared for it that will be the kind of government they will have”(964). This quotes describes Thoreau’s lenient attitude toward the government. He clarifies how that government can easily manipulate people’s minds, and be abused. “The government itself is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it” (964). He indicates that the government is a “tradition” that needs to be questioned. “The American government – what is it but a tradition, though a recent one…”(965). The transcendental philosophy suggests the creation of a “better” society. In Thoreau’s reading, he says, “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it”(965).
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