Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Civil Disobedience: Introduction
Civil Disobedience: Plot Summary
Civil Disobedience: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Civil Disobedience: Themes
Civil Disobedience: Quotes
Civil Disobedience: Characters
Civil Disobedience: Terms
Civil Disobedience: Symbols
Civil Disobedience: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Henry David Thoreau
Historical Context of Civil Disobedience
Other Books Related to Civil Disobedience
- Full Title: Civil Disobedience or Resistance to Civil Government.
- When Written: 1848
- Where Written: Concord, Massachusetts
- When Published: 1849
- Literary Period: Early 19th century American Literature, Transcendentalism, Abolitionism
- Genre: Essay; Nonfiction
- Setting: The United States of America; Massachusetts
- Climax: Thoreau entreats the American people to give up their rights to property and protection from the state
- Antagonist: The American Government
- Point of View: First-person
Extra Credit for Civil Disobedience
Friends Forever: Thoreau first met Emerson during a Harvard lecture Emerson delivered on “The American Scholar.” The speech was so inspiring that Thoreau approached Emerson afterwards, which was the beginning of what would go on to be a lifelong friendship.
Thoreau: Writer and Railroad Conductor. Thoreau was an ardent abolitionist. For a time he served as a conductor for the Underground Railroad, a system that helped fugitive enslaved people make their way to free states and Canada.