Individuality In Civil Disobedience By Henry David Thoreau

1642 Words 7 Pages
The increased sense of conflict between the people and the society in which they lived in was what marked the development into the 19th century. When a sense of community and togetherness is deteriorating, the affirmation of the people inclines and when people become expected to exist outside their positions in society, a conflict between the individual and society as a whole arises; a reason of this newfound concept of individuality. The idea of having a “pecking order” and definitive social rank is what belonged to the traditional social system, but this lost not only the balance and cohesion it once had, but its authority and lawfulness. Since the Transcendentalism movement was an effective and attributable development in history, citizens …show more content…
Transcendentalists advocated that society pollutes a person’s morals and that withdrawing from society’s influences could give people a true chance for independence. In his essay Civil Disobedience, Thoreau supported breaking laws if he believed they were unjust and unsafe such as slavery. With non-conformity comes the use of individual reason and understanding. The human mind is a complex place filled with discovered information and untouched secrets, containing the individualized thought process of each human being. This thought processing turns into a set of morals and values made by the person (based on the society at the time) which then turns into one’s common sense, or initiative. This is extremely important in developing an identity for oneself, as it also develops self-reliance. When someone is very self-aware of their ideas and emotions they are able to continue to create even further ideas which then sets them apart from the rest of the crowd. Individuality is an important quality which benefits more than just that one person. This is seen through Emerson and Thoreau’s work, as they were able to contribute more ideas to the world, become an inspiration, have no fear of speaking their mind, resulting in an overall

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