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Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, And Tim O Brien: An Analysis

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Ideologically, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, and Tim O’Brien share very similar values, despite being authors of significantly different time periods. They all share the mentality it is your duty to rebel when you know something is wrong/unjust, even if the majority or higher power rules against your favor. Individuals must think for themselves and not just believe or support what they are told. It is important that those in a society make decisions and judge the right or wrongness in a situation.
Henry David Thoreau expresses his disdain for excess involvement of the government in his short story, “Civil Disobedience”. He begins by saying, “I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs the least (1097)”. Essentially, Thoreau states the …show more content…
The story follows a group of soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War and mainly focuses on lieutenant Jimmy Cross and his inner thoughts. Through this reading, O’Brien shows the horrors and the pointlessness of war. The readers are given an insight to how war is by using the characters as examples to what is commonly experienced by soldiers, such as when a character lost his life while using the bathroom. War is a traumatic experience, where soldiers are starved, and in constant fear. There has been a long belief that war is for the greater good and should be embraced, what that allusive greater good often goes unnamed and undiscussed because there is no justification. The government has long tried to make sure the majority within the society do not focus on the brutality of war. They do this to keep the society thinking war is honorable and for a noble cause, when in reality they just have their own agenda. O’Brien illustrates the war as hellish, contradictory to the assumption of it being something to be proud of and to revel in. He is trying to make the point that there is there is no glory in

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