Chapter 6 : "Visitors"
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Thoreau is criticizing the patriarchal structure of nineteenth-century New England society in this Chapter. The guests who make him happy and to whom he give a voice are those who viewpoints were excluded from public life a "halfwit," a Catholic immigrant, a runaway slave, women, and children. Thoreau's writing, like his actions in refusing to pay taxes which would support slavery (which would become the essay "Civil Disobedience"), were deliberately subversive a means of revealing the fallacy of conventions accepted as natural and right in his world.