Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

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One of the main functions of literature in the course of human history has been to explore society: its champions, achievements and often its shortcomings. When an author publishes a piece that is critical of the society in which he lives, the value of that piece cannot fully be realized in his generation. If his ideas and criticisms have merit in the years, decades, or centuries following his death, then does his work become immortal. …

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…were, unmoral, and not quite unnecessary to that life which we have made.” But outright revolution and dissent, as Thoreau supports, is not the path to change in America. Thoreau himself writes, “Action from principle, the perception and performance of right, changes things and relations…” A renaissance of American morality and the return of personal responsibility is all that is needed to return the nation to the moral high ground upon which it was founded.