Friday, November 2, 2007

Far-off Foes

Journal No. 3

English 48A
Dr. Scott Lankford
Author I chose: Henry David Thoreau
I. "I quarrel not with far-off foes, but with those who, near at home, co-operate with, and do the bidding of those far away, and without whom the latter would be harmless.

II. Thoreau points out that the local merchants are more threatening to the lack of humanity in the current society than are those who come from other countries.

III. In Thoreau's speech, he is stating that the local merchants who abuse human rights are much more oppressive than any war which the United States might engage in with another far-off country. These men and women who support slave labor and other dehumanizing acts are on the surface saying that they believe in freeing slaves and ending the war. However, their actions do not support these fragile and thin promises. Thoreau is crying out for forward momentum and would like to see his supporters demand the same change and action. He is desperately looking for change that can be felt across the board- not just in the pockets of politicians and businessmen. Thoreau warns people of the dangers of passing the buck. In order for action to happen, you must take it yourself. If you want to see change, make change happen yourself. "They will wait, well disposed, for others to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret" (1861). Thoreau's words are delicately placed in order to encourage action but to avoid raising suspicion or frightening anyone away. He made efforts to be thoughtful while calling for a massive movement against the standards that the society had accepted until then. He was in the midst of witnessing great change - and he wanted to help in leading that change in the right direction.


drscottie said...

20/20 That Liberty with the blinding, bleeding eyes is painful to contemplate.