Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

Civil Disobedience Part 1 Questions

1. What belief does Thoreau present in the first sentence of the essay?

In the first sentence of Civil Disobedience, Thoreau presents the belief that the government
should not be very powerful. He states that he agrees with the motto the government

2. How does the statement about a government which governs not at all develop an idea
introduced in the first sentence of the essay (part 1, par. 1)?

3. What is the meaning of the sentence Government is at best but an expedient (part 1,
par. 1)? How does the word but clarify the meaning of the sentence?

4. What can you infer about Thoreaus point of view regarding the military?

5. How does the final sentence of paragraph 1 clarify the meaning of abused and
perverted in the preceding sentence?

6. How does Thoreau develop the relationship between the people and the
government in part 1, paragraph 1?

7. How does Thoreau express his beliefs about the American government?

8. How does the comparison to a single living man develop an idea about government?

9. How does the wooden gun metaphor in paragraph 2 develop an idea about government
and the people?

10. How does Thoreaus reference to complicated machinery develop an What does
Thoreau mean when he says that government never of itself furthered any enterprise,
but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way? To which enterprises is he
referring?

11. What does Thoreau mean when he says that government never of itself furthered any
enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way? To which enterprises is
he referring?

12. What is the italicized it in paragraph 2, and how does placing it in italics affect the
meaning of the text?

13. How does Thoreau support his claim that government never of itself furthered any
enterprise?

14. How does the meaning of expedient change within part 1, paragraph 2?
15. What is the meaning of letting one another alone and let alone in part 1, paragraph
2?

16. How does Thoreaus statement, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a
better government (part 1, par. 3) relate to his earlier idea that government is best
which governs least (part 1, par. 1)?

17. What distinction does Thoreau draw in paragraph 3 and how does it support his point of
view?

18. What does Thoreau recommend as a step toward establishing a better government?

19. How does Thoreau develop the relationship between conscience and government?

20. What distinction does Thoreau establish between law and the right?

21. How does Thoreaus description of the undue respect for law (part 1, par. 4) develop a
central idea?

22. How does Thoreau use the example of the military in part 1, paragraph 4 to develop his
ideas about conscience?

23. What distinction does Thoreau make between the ways in which men serve the state?

24. How does Thoreaus description of those who serve the state with their bodies develop
the ideas that Thoreau introduces in part 1, paragraph 4?

25. How does Thoreaus use of figurative language develop a central idea in the text? (L.9-
10.5a)

26. What does Thoreau mean when he says that those who serve the state with their
consciences resist it?

27. How does Thoreaus reference to clay further develop his ideas in part 1, paragraph 5?

28. Paraphrase Thoreaus description of how men who give themselves entirely and those
who give themselves partially are treated by their fellow-men (part 1, par. 6).

29. How does part 1, paragraph 6 further develop a central idea that Thoreau discusses in
part 1, paragraph 5?

30. What does Thoreaus metaphor of the machine describe (part 1, par. 8)? (L.11-12.5.a)

31. What is the right of revolution and when should people exercise that right (part 1, par.
8)?
32. How does the first sentence of part 1, paragraph 8 develop a central idea in the text?

33. What does Thoreau mean by friction (part 1, par. 8)? (L.9-10.4.a)

34. What does Thoreau believe should be done when oppression and robbery are
organized (part 1, par. 8)? How does Thoreaus solution develop the central idea of the
relationship between the individual and the state?

35. How does Thoreau use the metaphor of the machine differently in part 1, paragraph 5
compared to part 1, paragraph 8?

36. What reasons does Thoreau give for why the merchants and farmers are opponents
to a reform (part 1, par. 10)?

37. What does Thoreau claim is the difference between a patron of virtue and a virtuous
man?

38. How does Thoreau use metaphor to develop his point of view on voting? (L.11-12.5.a)

39. How do Thoreaus ideas about voting develop a central idea in the text?

40. What does Thoreau claim is the difference between a wise man and one who votes
(part 1, par. 11)?

41. What does Thoreau believe is a mans duty (part 1, par. 13)? How does Thoreau use
figurative language to develop this idea?

42. How does Thoreaus distinction between what is and is not a mans duty develop a
central idea in the text?

43. What does Thoreaus use of the phrase gross inconsistency suggest about his
townsmens response to slavery and war (part 1, par. 13)?

44. How do Thoreaus townsmen directly provide a substitute for themselves? How do
they indirectly provide a substitute (part 1, par. 13)? How does Thoreaus discussion
of practically giving support develop a central idea in the text (part 1, par. 13)?

45. What effect does supporting an unjust government have on the individual?

46. According to Thoreau, how does this sin make people feel at first? How do feelings
change over time?

47. How does Thoreaus explanation of sin clarify the distinction he establishes between
immoral and unmoral?

48. What happens to life when people sustain an unjust government (part 1, par. 13)?