Romanticism & Civil Disobedience
Akiuk High School
Examples & Details
- Idealism- the belief that reality is not "out there" in material objects, but that reality is our ideas about things. My example of idealism is that a family is people who support each other, make each other feel valuable and that each cares about the other.
- Individualism- the belief that the freedom of the individuals "act out their heart" is more important than any government. Individualism makes me think of Thoreau because he did not want to be supporting the government and paying taxes, which led him to be imprisoned.
- Optimism- the belief that good must win over evil. Hopefulness and confidence about the future. An example of optimism is Gandhi and Mandela. In my thought these two men were more optimistic about things. They believed that the outcome of their march would be successful.
- Nature- the occurrence of the physical world all together, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features of the earth. Thoreau's career was based on nature as well as the conduct of life, Thoreau is my example.
Response To Each Concept
If I lived in time of the Romantic Era and I faced problems like all three leaders, I would want to be an individualist. All three leaders faced corrupted governments and they fought until the end to make it better. I would not want to be living everyday being forced to do anything I didn't want to do. "I do not hear of men being forced to live this way or that by masses of men" is a quote by Henry David Thoreau that I agreed with. It says that he has never heard of anyone being forced to live in a way. I agree that each leader did an excellent job to become individualists when things with their governments were not going the right way. I want to connect this concept to one of the political parties today and that is the Independents. Individualists and Independents think of themselves, to be on their own. Although, Independents are still a part of the government, while individualists did not want any part in the government. I'd say that in some way individualism affected how people think of the government making Independents not sign up for a Democrat or a Republican.
I believe that optimism shaped the world since the beginning. I also believe that it gave the world a whole new feeling about things because if it did not, then people would always be thinking negatively. The definition of optimism changed over time. In the time of the Romantic Era, they thought of it as good winning over evil. Today, we think of it as hopefulness and confidence in the future. I like to think of myself as an optimist, in a way that gives me hope for the future.
When I think of nature, it makes me think of one man only and that is Henry David Thoreau. I find Henry David Thoreau to be such an inspirational man because I wish that I can live in the wild observing nature just like he did. This concept is related to the term transcendentalism which was a belief that God was a part of everyone and nature. I agree that Henry David Thoreau's belief in transcendentalism and his career based on observing nature, made him want to become independent and not want to be part of the government. According to cliffnotes.com, Thoreau's book named "Walden" has become a required reading in literature in most colleges. I find that to be a huge affection in the American culture today, because this book was written 200 hundred years ago and is still being read by students who are furthering their education in college.
Responses and Analysis of Leaders
Henry David Thoreau and Nelson Mandela
Henry David Thoreau
“The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think is right.” I found your quote to be very true. I think that it is a good idea that a person goes with their intuition, and not just with what the law says. Doing so, a person may be punished for not following the law, but that doesn’t stop the person from continuing to do what is right for them.
“I do not hear of men being forced to live this way or that by masses of men.”I also agreed with the above quote, which connects with how people should do whatever they think is right. There are a lot of things that I agreed with in your essay, including what I just mentioned above. I also agreed that “government is best which governs least” but I do not hate the government, I just have mixed emotions about government. Sometimes I can like the government and sometimes I don’t like it. Your ideas about the government in your time sound just about right, that a single man can abuse power, governments are usually inefficient and that the people taught the government instead of the government teaching the people. I believe that if i lived in the time of the Romantic Era, I would be following the principle of transcendentalism.