The Role Of Conformism In Civil Disobedience, By Henry David Thoreau

897 Words 4 Pages
Maintaining individuality in a society that practices conformism can be a difficult task. Nonetheless, this task is vital to the identity of an individual. It is also vital to the progress of society since without individuality the world would be led by followers rather than leaders that can discern from right and wrong. It is through autonomy and self-exploration that people can strive for change within themselves and our nation. Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and “Civil Disobedience” both discuss the idea of obtaining independence from our established institution trough the exploration of the self and by being self-reliant. He also emphasizes that in order to achieve these two, people need to live a life of simplicity.
Thoreau challenges our
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Moreover, being different is seen as something abnormal, which usually isolates the individual forcing the person to comply to public’s opinion. Thoreau criticizes society because as a whole, it robs people of their consciousness and how they wish to be view. He states, “a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice,” this means that what the majority thinks is usually not right because it is true but because as the majority in society they hold higher power, therefore, their words are consider as fact. Hence, when a person blindly follows what it is said, without questioning, he becomes a slave of the nation. Thoreau complains about people’s blind faith in their government and tries to tell them that being individualistic is alright and it’s something we should strive to achieve. He states, “The mass of men serves the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies” by stating that men are not better than machines, he points out the problem of men losing their humanity. It also conveys his concern regarding the mediocrity of life due to the absence of autonomy. After all, autonomy begets productivity since the refusal to conform to the prevailing rules creates change and foments …show more content…
We need to make the world fit around us rather than try to fit into the world. Thoreau gives the tools in which we can achieve this; autonomy and by exploring our minds. Thought I concede that being independent from society’s views and rules is important and necessary, I think that is impossible or very difficult to acquire or assert real individuality in today’s society. Currently, being unique and individualistic is the trend which poses the question, is it trying to be individualistic really being nonconformist in today’s society? However, whether this is able or not is not as important as to attempt to achieve that state of mind. One controversial issue that arose in Thoreau’s writing that I agree with is that people should have a questing attitude of mind. We should always seek knowledge about the world and ourselves in order to not be in disadvantage and help shape and change the

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