Category: civil disobedience

+

Herman Melville’s Bartleby and Civil Disobedience?

When I asked students what they thought of Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener, most expressed frustration with Bartleby because they did not know his motivations. Truthfully, we never really know for sure what drives Bartleby to continue to tell his employer, “I would prefer not to.” However, I would argue, as some have done, that we should read Melville’s story, as we do Rebecca … Read More Herman Melville’s Bartleby and Civil Disobedience?

Are We Just a Number? Henry David Thoreau and W.H. Auden

Ralph Waldo Emerson concludes his essay “Self-Reliance” (1841) with the following words: “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles” (660).About seven years later, Henry David Thoreau delivered his lecture “Resistant to Civil Govermnet,” which would eventually be renamed “Civil Disobedience” after his death. Thoreau’s lecture, essentially, elaborates on the closing lines of Emerson’s essay, … Read More Are We Just a Number? Henry David Thoreau and W.H. Auden