After reading it independently and discussing it as a class, we now know that Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience is an essay intended to smash through the status quo-mentality that often handcuffs (pun intended!) our society.

So in the spirit of destroying those structures which oppress us, it only makes sense to watch Mark Ruffalo (known to many as the actor who portrayed the benevolently monstrous Hulk in 2012’s The Avengers) reading an excerpt from the text!

9 thoughts on “HULKIN’ OUT with THOREAU!

  1. I think the most interesting part of Civil Disobedience was when Thoreau described a Democracy as being a rule of the majority. I had never really considered it like that before. The minority opinion are phased out during the course of voting and never really considered. Poeple might as well just go along with the majority.

  2. I think that Thoreau did the right think even though it got him in trouble. He did not support the Mexican-American war one bit and did all in his power to not support it. He did not support the war on Mexico due to the fact that it extended slavery. He stopped paying taxes that would go to the war including the poll tax. This resulted in him being jailed. Thoreau believed that you supported the war if you paid taxes, which in a larger sense was true. Thoreau’s excerpt from Civil Disobedience shows just how strongly he feels about this issue.

  3. I find it amazing that Thoreau’s words are still valid in many aspects of today’s government and society. We have to take part in the change we want to see in the world if we want it to change at all. We can’t just wait around for things to improve. Being an active member in government and society means making an effort and taking a stand to ensure that the differences you want to see are made into a reality. We want to be seen as individuals; not part of a machine.

  4. What made the biggest impression upon me in Ruffalo’s reading was when Thoreau compared the conditions that caused Revolution in 1775 to the condition of their government currently. He proposed that if the machine of government deserved to be overthrown at that time, then now the people’s mindset should be no different. This should especially be the case if the people find the ‘friction’, or injustice done by the government is just too great.

  5. I was really interested by the crowd’s reactions. They weren’t cheering for the halt of the Mexican War or for people in the 1800’s to change their ways. The excerpt that was read is still applicable today. When people hear about government corruption and unethical wars and, they don’t think about some ridiculous filibuster that happened in 1843 or their great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather’s cousin in law who marched off to war against his own will. They think about how such situations are still relevant in this day and age. I think it’s really cool (and kind of disheartening) that the same problems that faced our society and government 200 years ago still exist and people are still fighting against them and others resisting the change.

  6. I find the take on government very interesting. “Government is best that governs not at all.” Thoreau is stating that government is unnecessary. I also think it is interesting that he believes that “when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”
    In another note, I think that hearing an actor like Ruffalo read the text makes the text more interesting and easier to listen to or read.

  7. I agree with Anna and Grace. I find it amazing that something thought about and written that long ago is still in effect today. All over the world issues of what kind of government there should be start everyday, and Thoreau thought of these issues back then. Even today, people are still disagreeing with the government and suffering the consequences as Thoreau once did

  8. I think that it is interesting, that his views were so popular even back then and they will still be popular as the years go on. Thoreau had a very powerful opinion on many things including the government, which he had lead many peoples views to what they are today. Peoples views are still based off of Thoreau’s ideas and agree with what he has to say back then, effecting peoples opinions on government. He was trying to lead people to blame themselves for what the government is doing, because if everyone comes together as a whole, they can make changes as one.

  9. Thoreau is quite the interesting man. I find it really fantastic how outspoken he is willing to be without the fear of consequences, it shows how strong he feels torwards his opinions. Most people are afriad to break laws merely out of fear and due to consuequences. But on a different note, what really stood out to me was when he quoted in a sentence, “…my government which is the slaves’ government also…”. Not only is he a very strong believer in being individuals in a society and not going along with the majority, but he is also one for equality and each man being treated no higher than the other. Might I add that Mark Ruffalo was a good choice to read.

Leave a Reply