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AP English Language and Composition/ENG 121
English 10 Honors: American Literature
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» An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
» The Open Boat
» Personal Reflective Essay
» Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald
» The Harlem Renaissance
» Resistance to Civil Government by Thoreau
» Introduction to Rhetoric
» Film Analysis
» King: I Have A Dream
» Letter From Birmingham City Jail by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
» The Argumentative/Persuasive Essay
English 12/LIT 115
English 10 Honors: American Literature » Resistance to Civil Government by Thoreau

Resistance to Civil Government by Thoreau Resistance to Civil Government by Thoreau

Please click on the links below to retrieve the handouts:

"Resistance to Civil Government"

by Henry David Thoreau

Learning Goals


Students will understand:

  • Thoreau’s philosophy of nonviolent civil disobedience
  • Thoreau’s argument, his underlying assumptions
  • Thoreau’s exigence, the “imperfection marked by urgency”
  • The nature of Thoreau’s appeals: to authority, to audience, to text
  • Close reading and annotating
  • How to divide the essay into sections while noting the rhetorical purpose of each section
  • Thoreau’s use of figurative language and his motives for using it in specific situations
  • Connotations of words, particularly “govern”
  • How to apply Thoreau’s concepts to King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

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