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After reading “Civil Disobedience”, I thought about some of the things that Thoreau said. He talks about the government and what is the best type. He says, “government is best which governs least” and I agree with him in certain cases. I do not think that the government needs to be so involved in everything that goes on in the United States or in other countries but there are times we need it. Individually I do not think the government needs to be in your business completely. I do not think it is right for things such as them listening to your conversations if they want to. They do not need to know every aspect of your personal life. The governments rule in individuals is to help keep our country safe, so of course, there are situations where there is a lot of investigation into peoples personal business occurring, and sometimes it is necessary. They need to control the things we are allowed to do to a certain extent, and that is what they do now. A government that gains my respect is one that does everything it can to better the citizens in our country but not abusing their power. In a democracy it should not be whatever says goes and things should be occurring and rules should be created or taken away because it is trying to genuinely help the people, not to just help whoever is in charge. Civil disobedience today does occur but of course, it also does not. There are many protests that are peaceful and get the point across and do a good job, and there are also protests that create more problems and havoc and are not occurring for the right reasons. As a whole, I think we still have civil disobedience but I don’t know if it is occurring for the right reasons. Martin Luther King Jr. used civil disobedience to fight for what was right and refused certain treatment and that was needed, but some people use this for selfish reason and it takes away from the point of it all, and why it started.
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Thoreau’s and Emerson’s work are similar in many ways. They both are dealing with life and how nature should and needs to be a part of it. Thoreau’s work was dealing with how you need nature in your life in order to live and get a true understanding of what life is and what you need in it. It also talked about how it is necessary because you learn so much from it. Throughout the work, you could tell that he was relying on nature to survive. He needed the clarity and the experience in order to feel like he lived and to be able to live on with the rest of his life. Emerson’s work deals more with how nature and man rely on each other and need each other in order to exist. This is similar to Thoreau’s works because he actually did it and relied on nature and realized how much you need it in his life. The main point of the beginning of Thoreau’s work was to explain to the reader what exactly he needed to find and talk about what life is. He discusses how you do not need materialistic things you need to live a simple life and that will make you happy. The ending was to clarify how his time in the woods was and to let the reader know that life is about happiness and your soul. I understand where Thoreau was coming from when he went to live in the woods, I just don’t know if I would be doing it for the same reasons. I would do it to take a break and to spend time really thinking about myself and what I have in my life so I would become more grateful. I would not last long because I would not be good at finding food and just surviving as a whole. I think that we should remember what we have and be thankful and not take it for granted because we need nature to survive and it is something that is so easily taken for granted and it should not be.
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Overall this unit has definitely helped me with my arguing skills. When I was researching I made sure to look up certain points that were important to my argument and my opponent’s argument. I think that for me personally, I was going to have to argue with a lot of emotion for my topic, but I also had to have facts that supported the emotional side of it or I would definitely lose. I think it is funny because as we learned about all the fallacies it made me realize how often people use them in their arguments. A lot of people tend to say things that are not true when they argue but since they state them as a fact it seems like what they are saying is true. I think that this is very common for people my age to act like they know what they are talking about when they don’t. They also use name-calling a lot when it comes to arguing. I think that at the beginning of the unit when I got my topic I did not know what to do or how to argue. I was really stressed that there wasn’t going to be enough information to talk about. I thought that my opponent was definitely going to beat me because I didn’t know how or what facts I was going to use to argue. I felt like mine was more based on your morals and less on facts. As I got into it I realized that I actually had a lot to talk about and they were very easy to research. I also found that it was so easy to incorporate all the things we talked about in our notes. I think that overall once I got into my debate I realized how much the notes helped and that it was much easier then I thought. I thought the actual persuasive written arguments weren’t very difficult to write but I struggled with the amount of time I spent talking about my topic. No matter how much I added, when I timed it, it still wasn’t long enough even though I felt like I had said everything I needed to say.