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Henry David Thoreau – "Civil Disobedience" – American Individualism

Considering “Civil Disobedience,” which best describes one similarity between Thoreau and Martin Luther King, Jr.?

A. Both expressed complete faith that the government would change unfair laws.
B. Both felt that people have the moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
C. Both were assassinated because of their ideas and influence.
D. Both felt that prison robbed them of their drive to persevere.

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B. Both felt that people have the moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
Based on Thoreau’s beliefs and “Civil Disobedience,” he most likely decided not to pay poll tax because:

A. he could not afford to pay taxes.
B. he disagreed with the idea of it.
C. he did not understand the law.
D. he wanted to experience prison.

B. he disagreed with the idea of it.
In “Civil Disobedience,” what is Thoreau’s view of the state at the end of the essay?

A. He thinks the state does not appreciate individual worth.
B. He finds the state guilty of gross misjudgment of his actions.
C. He feels sorry for the state for not acting in a sensible way.
D. He considers the state’s actions indicative of society’s unfairness.

C. He feels sorry for the state for not acting in a sensible way.
What does “Civil Disobedience” suggest about the public opinion of tax evasion in Thoreau’s time?

A. Tax evasion was only a moderate crime.
B. The evasion of taxes was considered highly disrespectful to the state.
C. If allowed to continue, tax evasion was a serious offense.
D. Tax evasion was one of the more grave crimes one could commit.

C. If allowed to continue, tax evasion was a serious offense.
One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty.

Based on his behavior in “Civil Disobedience,” how would Thoreau most likely feel about King’s statement?

A. He would believe that his reasons and King’s reasons for protest were completely unrelated.
B. He would disagree with King’s belief that one must accept the penalty for political protest.
C. He would believe that King did not understand the nature of political protest.
D. He would agree with King that one should engage in political protest peacefully.

D. He would agree with King that one should engage in political protest peacefully.
Based on evidence of his personality in “Civil Disobedience,” what effect would a longer jail stay most likely have had on Thoreau?

A. It would have made him doubt himself.
B. It would have encouraged him to engage in other crimes.
C. It would have hardened his resolve to assert his rights.
D. It would have caused him to pay the poll tax.

C. It would have hardened his resolve to assert his rights.
In “Civil Disobedience,” what is Thoreau’s last thought about the state before he loses respect for it?

A. He finds the state’s industrious locking of the cell door amusing.
B. He thinks the state can’t tell its friends from its enemies.
C. He thinks the state is half-witted.
D. He finds the state unforgivably timid.

B. He thinks the state can’t tell its friends from its enemies.
Based on his transcendental beliefs and “Civil Disobedience,” it is most reasonable to assume that Thoreau

A. would have liked to create his own government, which would not require taxes.
B. was unwilling to follow any law created by the government.
C. believed following his conscience was more important than following the law.
D. wished to be completely separate from society and those around him.

C. believed following his conscience was more important than following the law.
Based on “Civil Disobedience,” what statement did Thoreau, like his modern-day successors, hope to make with his imprisonment?

A. He wanted to show the great unfairness of the prison system.
B. He wanted to prove himself as a martyr for his cause.
C. He wanted to suggest that one should be willing to go to great lengths for a belief.
D. He wanted to suggest that imprisonment was the only valid form of political protest.

C. He wanted to suggest that one should be willing to go to great lengths for a belief.
Which would be the best way of describing the structure of Thoreau’s observations in “Civil Disobedience”?

A. He moves from a consideration of his surroundings to an evaluation of the state as a whole.
B. He develops a critique of his jail cell into a critique of the entire prison system and justice department.
C. He uses the example of his case as a way to introduce his condemnation of the court.
D. He moves from a description of his jail cell to his reaction to being imprisoned.

A. He moves from a consideration of his surroundings to an evaluation of the state as a whole.