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A Comparison between, Civil Disobedience, and “The Allegory of the Cave:”

Writing at very different times, both Henry David Thoreau and Plato reveal many differences between each other through their beliefs and ultimate hopes for the world they live in. However, both, through various pieces show similarities through their policies and wants.

Through his essay on Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau expresses his view of the actions of many citizens within the United States in the mid 19th century, ultimately questioning the reluctance many hold. Plato, writing in 380 B.C., retells a conversation between his teacher Socrates and another student. He reveals a process for enlightenment of the citizens of his state, hoping new intellectual citizens will work to spread a knowledge throughout their state. Both pieces aim for different audiences, corresponding with the varying times of publication.  Thoreau writes for the many discontented people of his country, the many citizens that refrain from acting in response to their feelings.  While Plato, through sharing this conversation, seems to appeal towards a philosophically interested people.  The use of a student in his writing allows Plato to further reveal his message of enlightenment to his audience  So, along with the varying times of publications, both Henry David Thoreau and Plato reveal many differences in pieces of their writing.

While many differences became prominent between Thoreau and Plato, both Civil Disobedience, and “The Allegory of the Cave,” present similarities.  Henry David Thoreau and Plato write about proper courses of action for the many citizens of their state.  Both authors share possible solutions to common problems, in their varying states, while explaining the eventual consequences for unsolved problems.  Despite the varying times in which each published their piece, both authors share similarities in their purposes for writing.