In “Resistance to Civil Government” (attached), also known as “Civil Disobedienc


In “Resistance to Civil Government” (attached), also known as
“Civil Disobedience” (first published in 1849; “Bartleby” was published in
1853) Henry David Thoreau argues for passive or non-violent resistance to
government. (Thoreau’s essay inspired both Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.) Bartleby
refuses to conform to the normal ways of the office and instead simply doesn’t
complete the tasks his boss requests of him. He does not request any changes in
the workplace, but continues to be passive in the face of the work happening around him. It
is never “no”, never even an outright refusal. He never says it aggressively or
impertinently. Bartleby is always there when work starts and stays after the others
leave.
First, read Thoreau’s essay (attached).
(Some useful discussion and contextualization of Thoreau’s essay can be found here):
https://www.crf-usa.org/black-history-month/thoreau-and-civil-disobedience
Then, answer the following question in an essay of 2-3 pages:
Could it be argued that Bartleby is practicing passive resistance? If so, resistance to
what? If not, why not?


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