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Influential Henry David Thoreau- fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work

higure17 1 / 1  
Nov 28, 2010   #1
Will someone please look over my college essay?

Prompt: Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.

Henry David Thoreau, from the play: The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail, is one of the few characters I've been able to relate to. He is the kind of person that would go to jail rather than do something he doesn't believe in. Rather than believe in the same things as the rest of society, he sees the world from his own point of view. Thoreau became a person of interest to me because of his incredible resistance to the conformity of society. Reading the play about his life made me come to understand a new meaning to non-conformity.

Before reading the play, I had no idea how to express my feelings about non-conformity. High school is not an academic institution where youth go to learn and establish their own perspective about the world; rather it is a police state where authority figures try to break the will of the individual. However, as I read The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail, it dawned upon me that the individual has rights, even in high school. Being an individual, I have the right to wield my own opinion and use it to express how I feel about society.

Thoreau's strong desire to take a different path than the rest of society inspired my views against conformity. Thoreau was incredibly smart, unique and stubborn when it came to his beliefs. Being seventeen, some dismiss my non-conformity and core values as just a phase; however, I believe my non-conformist principles will continue throughout my lifetime. Early on, Thoreau was notably successful attending Harvard and such, but as he matured, his definition of success changed. That is the kind of person I strive to be; but as a teenager, I do not feel that I have reached the mature state that Thoreau achieved. I have a couple of friends that think I'm weird and think I should do what everyone else does. I laugh whenever they say 'I should conform' and I tell them to step back, because the closer one is to something, the tougher it is to see it.

Early in school I learned that it is OK to be different. Thoreau's experience has inspired and influenced me to exercise my own non-conformity, even in an environment that looks down on non-conformity.
gracedrift 7 / 34  
Nov 28, 2010   #2
the punctuation around the name of the play is incorrect

Also, you should provide examples of your non-comformity. It's too vague right now.
OP higure17 1 / 1  
Nov 28, 2010   #3
I had it in italics, but I forgot to do it again, when pasting it into the message box.

It sounded vague to me too as I wrote it. Is there anything you might suggest to make it less vague?
gracedrift 7 / 34  
Nov 28, 2010   #4
How have you taken advantage of your right to express yourself in high school?

What do you resist conforming to amongst your friends?

How have you exercised your non-comformity?

Just go for concrete examples. Incorporate them and post another draft :) I'd be happy to take a look


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