The Free World

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23 April 2016

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Critic Andrew Delbanco has asserted that Thoreau is “Despite the barricades he arected around himself, an irresistible writer; to read him is to feel wrenched away from the customary world and delivered into a place we fear as much as we need.” Delbanco is trying to say that even when Thoreau disagreed with many things, he tried to create a world that were not all used to. Thoreau creates a free world that we urge. For example, in Civil Disobedience he talks about how we require a government, but a government that does not choose from right or wrong. We want more freedom and citizens should decide what to do with it. Thoreau strongly disagreed in paying taxes. As a result, he got thrown in jail. Most likely Thoreau did not pay for taxes because he wanted to prove a point that his money was much more worthy to those needs that he actually thought were necessary.

There are many reasons to fear the world Thoreau creates. An Excessive amount of freedom and independence can cause various problems. For instance, if everyone grew their own crops and nobody shared it with each other, many people would die because what if something goes wrong with your own crops? For this reason, if people did not pay for taxes there would not be any free schools, so plenty of people would not have an education. As well as government plans for poor people, they would not have shelters, food stamps, or soup kitchens. When Delbanco mentioned that we feel “wrenched away from the customary world”, taxes was always an examples because of the fact that we are used to paying taxes and Thoreau did the opposite.

I do not agree with the world Thoreau creates because there is a lot more cons than pros. People would be out of control doing whatever they wanted without fear of getting punished for it. Many people would lose their jobs if everyone decided not to pay taxes like Thoreau did. To explain, many people decided to close their bank accounts when they found out prices were going up and that caused various people that worked at the banks to lose their jobs. Thoreau’s world was very independent. If the actual world would have been the way that he described it, it would have caused no end to this chaos because people would always do what they desired. A world without a government that governs right, is a world full of problems. In my opinion, I think that is what Delbanco tried to explain with that quote.

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