Henry’s mentor, whom Henry met while at Harvard. “Waldo” is a deeply respected and famous scholar and lecturer. Though he is intellectually deft and very insightful with respect to abstract concepts, Henry argues that Waldo is too concerned about public opinion to speak out, as Henry does, against segregation and the war. Waldo is modeled on the real historical figure Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the real Henry David Thoreau knew well and was a leading thinker in the Transcendentalist movement.
Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail
The The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail quotes below are all either spoken by Ralph Waldo Emerson or refer to Ralph Waldo Emerson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hill and Wang edition of The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail published in 2001.).
Act 1 Quotes
“I’ve forgotten the name of my best friend!”
Page Number and Citation:
“Cast conformity behind you!”
I want to be as much as possible like Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Ralph Waldo Emerson Character Timeline in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail
The timeline below shows where the character Ralph Waldo Emerson appears in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...and “not done” something. This conversation bleeds into the conversation being held between Lydian and Waldo, where they struggle to remember Henry. Lydian recalls that he was strange, but that she... (full context)
...be his father. Lydian lightly asks Edward, what about his real father? Edward complains that Waldo is never around because he is always traveling and making speeches. He also asks his... (full context)
...center of the stage, where Henry is rallying a crowd of people, telling them that Waldo will be making an important announcement. The crowd grows restless as time passes and there... (full context)
...to “always do the right thing, even if it’s wrong.” Then the President appears: it’s Waldo. Everyone begins to chant “go along” with “demonic glee.” They begin to attack a Mexican... (full context)