English 220-1

Grant T. Smith, Ph.D.

Reader Response to "Civil Disobedience"

From Robert E. Probst's "Writing From, Of, and About Literature" in Reader Response in Secondary and College Classrooms, ed. Nicholas J. Karolides


As you read "Civil Disobedience," what word, phrase, image, or idea struck you most powerfully--why? What seems to you to be the most important word, phrase, or paragraph in the text?


·        What is there in "Civil Disobedience" or in your reading that you have most trouble understanding? Did your first reaction to the text raise questions for you that led you to analyze and interpret? How did those first responses guide your thinking?

·        What sort of person do you imagine Thoreau to be? Imagine him commenting on or explaining the text to you--what would he say? In what circumstances would Thoreau apply his principles of civil disobedience today?

·        What was your response to Martin Luther King's "Letter?"

·        What beliefs does Thoreau seem to hold? How do those views differ from your own, or how are they similar? How would you debate Thoreau's argument for civil disobedience?

·        Did you enjoy reading "Civil Disobedience?"