Thoreau and M.L.K Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”, published in 1849, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, published in 1963, have profound similarities while still having underlying differences. The one of the most distinct similarities in “Civil Disobedience” and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is the choice of action both authors decide to use, nonviolent measures, and who they are protesting against, which is government and its actions. On the same note, both essays express the dissatisfaction in the average white citizen’s acceptance for the status quo on slavery and then segregation. For example, both essays have a strikingly similar sentence; King states, “I had hoped that the white moderate
He says, “If it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law” (Par 13). Thoreau wants justice so much; he believes if you must break a law to get it, you should. From Thoreau’s point of view, he just wants the government to do what is right, he is not asking for forgiveness. King, on the other hand, thinks that people should get what they are owed, and, in this case, it is justice. He states, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (Par 6).
Both Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King both spend time in prison for not abiding by the law and practicing civil disobedience, although they are for very different causes. Henry David Thoreau wrote “Resistance to Civil Government” in 1849, he went to jail for not paying a tax that supported the Mexican-American War to expand American territories. He refused to pay this tax because he did not agree to expand American territories because the expansion would lead to more slavery, which he opposed. While Martin Luther King was arrested in 1863 for protesting the treatment of African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama. In jail, Dr. King experienced harsh conditions and more segregation than he did in Birmingham as a free man, so he wrote Letter From Birmingham Jail.”
Civil disobedience is an idea that Henry Thoreau wrote about in the 1800's, which later inspired political activists to lead nonviolent protests that effected change in their government. In my research during this assignment, I read that people influenced by Thoreau's writings included philosopher Martin Buber, Mohandas Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. In reading "A Letter from Burmingham Jail," by Dr. King, alongside Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government," interesting comparisons and conclusions can be made on the subject of civil disobedience. Both Henry Thoreau and Dr. King used all three persuasive techniques presented at the start of the assignment, however, the way that Martin Luther King Jr. brought emotional life to ethical words is
Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. never met, but they did have common ideas about civil disobedience. Thoreau went to jail when he refused to pay a poll tax and King went to jail when he marched in Birmingham to protest the injustice there towards African Americans. While they were in jail, they wrote letters on why they chose to be disobedient. In their letters, they wrote for different audiences. Thoreau's letter went to the general public and was about how they should rise up when they feel strongly about an injustice.
Fredrick Douglas and Henry David Thoreau have the same ideas yet different experiences which shine through their writings. The main idea is that I would have had no idea that Thoreau was an abolitionist from this writing alone. This excerpt from Thoreau is extremely philosophical, as were most of his other writings, and could only loosely be applied to the issue of slavery while Douglas’ writing was strictly an autobiography. This simple difference goes a long way in highlighting their differences as rights activists. Douglas is direct and evokes change through his actions and words while Thoreau is indirect, yet he makes you think about your decisions and how they affect the world around you.
In Henry Thoreau's “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” and Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail'' they were both written for a purpose. In the writing of these, there were many similarities in the reason they were written, one is that they both share their opinions on social injustice and civil disobedience. The purpose of writing had some differences from each other.
In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s essay, “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” and Henry David Thoreau essay “Civil Disobedience,” both share their opinions on social injustice and civil disobedience. They both believe that people can protest unfair and unjust laws imposed on them in a civil way. In addition, King and Thoreau are challenging the government with their essays, which they wrote after they got sent to jail. For protesting the treatment of blacks in Birmingham, Alabama, King spent eleven days in jail; Thoreau spent a night in jail for refusing to pay his poll tax. Both King and Thoreau’s essays present similar plans for a resolution.
As society faced great inequities in the 19th and 20th centuries, activists and philosophers sought to inform the general public. At the turn of the 19th century, Thoreau presented his writing of a "Civil Disobedience" as an argument of the injustices of the tyrannical government after spending a night in jail. Likewise, Martin Luther King Jr. presented his argument to society as he was jailed in 1963. In his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," King perceives the injustice of the African American community as a primary goal as to the need for the advocation of the whole population. Whereas in Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience," it addresses the injustices in broader terms and stresses the despotic government.
By analyzing both of these writings it’s almost obvious that Martin Luther King was influenced by Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” because they both use very similar writing techniques. King also described a four step to a non-violent protest, and the first one is to collect facts to determine whether an injustice law exists. This relates to Thoreau’s critique of an unjust government because Thoreau believed that every machine had
The main similarity in the writings of Thomas Jefferson and Henry David Thoreau is the idea of revolution against an abusive government. The main difference is the context in which each document was written, the Declaration of Independence as the colonies were rebelling against Great Britain and forming their own government, and Civil Disobedience as criticisms of the government developed within nearly seventy-five years after the signing of the Declaration. Both Jefferson and Thoreau share ideas of revolution, although overthrowing the government is seen in many cases as illegal. Both documents share a common theme of revolution, and both authors believe the best way to move toward a better government is civil disobedience. Jefferson and Thoreau believe that whether it is the struggle for independence or being freed from injustices of the government, civil disobedience and revolution are necessary in order to live in a society based on freedom.
f one followed the similarities of King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience," they would notice that King may have been somewhat influenced by Thoreau's essay. The two essays also have many differences that are evident throughout analysis of the two essays that divide individual interpretation of each text. But it is obvious that the overall purpose of these two essays is to persuade the audiences that civil disobedience is necessary if there is social injustice in the government that governs over people.
Civil Disobedience Compare and Contrast Henry Thoreau and Martin Luther King both wrote persuasive discussions that oppose many ideals and make a justification of their cause, being both central to their argument. While the similarity is obvious, the two essays, Civil Disobedience by Thoreau and Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. do have some similarities. King tries persuading white, southern clergymen that segregation is an evil, unfair law that ought to defeat by use of agitation of direct protesting. Thoreau, on the other hand, writes to a broader, non-addressed audience, and focuses more on the state itself. He further accepts it at its current state, in regard to the battle with Mexico and the institution of slavery.
In my opinion Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. have very similar purposes in their writings. Both author 's are writing to protest unfair laws. But they also have very different audiences. In Civil Disobediance, Thoreau writes how those who break unjust laws should suffer the consequences as a protest to the laws.
A big reason different from Gandhi and Thoreau, is Thoreau talks about his opinion on the government and laws. Thoreau mostly talks how he wants to fight back against the laws that are not right. Gandhi is speaking to everyone and how to change things. Gandhi is trying to change by not creating violence. Gandhi believed in peaceful protest to gain access to having freedom.