The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail
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Transcendentalism is presented to the community by Henry David Thoreau and John Thoreau Jr.John Thoreau, as well as Cynthia Dunbar, Henry David Thoreau and John Thoreau Jr’s parents also are transcendentalists. The community remains close minded from the old Harvard Student Henry, the community does not want him teaching their children.
Henry is in conflict with society because he is a nonconformist. The society is in conflict with him because of his Transcendentalist views.
Henry is in jail throughout the play due to him refusing to pay taxes because he is against the Mexican War. In jail, he has flashbacks of the past. He remembers his time teaching. Henry didn’t teach with textbooks and refused to flog the students when Deacon Ball told him to. He quit and made his own school. The parents took their kids out of school because they didn’t like Henry’s way of teaching.
Henry doesn't support the Mexican War so he doesn't want to pay his taxes. The townspeople call him a lawbreaker and want him in jail. Henry eventually gets thrown in jail.
Henry wants Emerson to speak out against the war. Even though he says he will, he does not. This is because even though he does believe the same things as Henry, he does not believe they should be carried out in the same manner. So, Henry realizes that his hero isn't who he always thought of him as and he realizes that he needs to let him be his own person.
Henry is freed because Aunt Louisa payed Henry’s tax, that he did not pay. He refuses to be freed. Henry feels that it would be against his views. Sam finally convinces Henry to free himself from Jail. Though, under one condition: Bailey must also be freed. Henry's conflict with society isn't resolved because they still don't share his views.
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