Thoreau’s Narrative Art in Civil Disobedience by Barry Wood

This essay, I felt, was the easiest to understand. I feel it’s the only one that broke Thoreau’s ‘Civil disobedience’ into a few bite-sized portions. Barry Wood effectively identified the focus point of Thoreau’s essay. The crux of Thoreau’s essay was, in his opinion centered around Thoreau’s night in prison. Through reading this essay bt Barry Wood, I’m better able to organise my thoughts about thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience’.

I find it very interesting that Barry Wood compared Thoreau’s night in prison to  Dante’s night in hell. As I’ve read Dante’s Inferno and have a good understanding of what it’s talking about, I’m able to see the connection Wood’s trying to create. Through his night in prison, Thoreau’s view of the world and events taking plae around him changes. This was compaired to Dante seeing ‘the light’ when he emerged from hell in the epic poem ‘Inferno’.

Wood also elaborates on the parts coming before and after the part after the part. In the beginning, Thoreau talks about the current situation, and how the government at that time was. He also elaborated on fact that the government was corrupt and how some fo the decisions they made were wrong. The third part (the part after talking about his night in prison), Thoreau sets forth the really free and enlightened state that he imagines for the future, ‘a fusion of the individual as a higher and independent power, from which its own power and authority are derived.’ Thoreau talks about what he would like the government to be, and what he thinks the situation should be in the indeal world. Through this analytical essay,  I’m better able to see the flow of ‘Civil Disobedience’.

My favourite part of the essay was the ending where the night in prison was described as the most interesting and natural adventure Thoreau went through.

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