Henry David Thoreau

by Nathan S. from Orange

". . . the hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men." - Henry David Thoreau

"There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living." -Henry David Thoreau

Perhaps the most brilliant man of his time, Thoreau's writings on subjects such as slavery and the government were groundbreaking. Thoreau is my hero because he was way ahead of his time. His essay, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience," gave his fellow citizens a new way to look at the government and life itself.

Thoreau's life was filled with many interesting journeys. He once took a trip into the woods by himself to think about life. He stayed in the woods for years meditating on thoughts about life. He studied plants, laws, and even the human mind. This brilliant philosopher is someone who I can look up to, and his quotes make sense and apply to the world, even today.

Thoreau thought that the best way to stand up for what you believe is through civil disobedience. He believed that the best way to fight was to peacefully walk away. When Thoreau felt that the government was making mistakes, and he did not want to support them, he was put in jail for not paying his taxes. He refused to support the government, which he so peacefully tried to fix.

Thoreau is my hero because he stood up for what he believed in, even though it was against an impossible foe. He constantly shared his ideas with others and was definitely ahead of his time.

"We live but a fraction of our life. Why do we not let on the flood, raise the gates, and set all our wheels in motion? He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

-Henry David Thoreau

Related Links

American Transcendentalism Web - Read a biography of Henry Thoreau and find a list of biographical readings and links to other major Thoreau sites.
The Walden Woods Project - preserves the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau.
Poetryfoundation.org - is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.

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