Monday, November 15, 2010

"Civil Disobedience" and "On the Eve of the Historic Dandi March"

So, first of all, there is one hugely obvious similarity, and that similarity is that, in both cases, the author is making it publicly known that they plan to totally disregard all the rules. Both of them are or were completely willing to accept the consequences. They both know and understand the wrong in what they are doing, but both of them think they should be allowed to do whatever they want. For example, throughout the entire passage, Gandhi is talking about when he and his comrades are arrested, the other people who are not arrested need to take up where they left off and keep Gandhi's dream alive. "My compact with the Congress ends as soon as I am arrested. In that case there should be no slackness in the enrolment of volunteers. Wherever possible, civil disobedience of salt laws should be started." (Gandhi, 229). Next of all, it sure seems like it does not matter to either person what will happen or what has happened. In fact, Thoreau seems rather happy to be locked up in the jail. With this, I totally understand because, in the way he is describing it, I do not think his cell could be that bad. They are giving him free food and a place to sleep and some companions to talk with both in the cell and out in the yard. I do not think it would be too bad either, actually. Everything I might need would be right there for me to have without having to pay for it. Does that really seem bad? Is it bad to have everything placed in your lap for you? I certainly think not, sir. However, on the other side of the punishment, Thoreau is already in jail, but Gandhi is practically preparing himself and the crowd for going to jail. Also, both participants are believing very strongly in why they are doing what they are doing because, in the case of Henry David Thoreau, he thinks it ridiculous to have to pay a tax on something he did not use. Thoreau is complaining about the poll tax because he did not vote, but the government is trying to force him to pay it regardless because that is the law. Obviously, he is quite unhappy about this because he did not use any service or receive anything, so why should he have to pay for anything? As a result of his not paying the tax, he is thrown in jail. Gandhi is also understanding of what he is doing. Yet, he continues doing it because he feels it is the right thing to do. He does not believe the Indian government is treating everyone fairly, so he organizes this "Dandi March" to protest salt taxes, among other things. Actually, both of these situations include the same basic principal: there is one person who knows he is doing an illegal action, but he is perfectly fine with it because he is standing up for what he believes in. As I said, I agree with what Thoreau did, and now that I think about it, I agree with what Gandhi did too because he is making a stand for the little guy who does not have a real voice in the government.

Works Cited

Gandhi, Mohandas K. "On the Eve of Historic Dandi March." Glencoe Literature. Ed. Jeffrey Wilhelm. American Literature ed. Colombus: McGraw-Hill, 2010. 229-230.

Thoreau, Henry David. "Civil Disobedience." Glencoe Literature. Ed. Jeffrey Wilhelm. American Literature ed. Colombus: McGraw-Hill, 2010. 222-227. Print.

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