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John Ruskin's To Kill A Mockingbird And Letter From Birmingham Jail

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The Importance of Action John Ruskin was a famous artist and critic who composed multiple works including The Crown of Wild Olive in which the quote, “What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do,” is found. Ruskin is saying that thoughts, knowledge, or beliefs do not have very much significance and only action can lead to tangible results. The ideas in this statement have been shown to be correct throughout literature and history in To Kill a Mockingbird, “The Gettysburg Address,” and “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” In To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson, an African American man, is accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white girl, in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s.…show more content…
While he was in jail, he wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to justify his efforts to end segregation. Instead of negotiating and only vocalizing what he thought should happen, he used peaceful protests so he could, “create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community … is forced to confront the issue” (King 2). He also deplores the actions of the moderates, “‘who [are] more devoted to “order” than to justice,’“(King 3). These moderates know there is injustice, but take no action against it, therefore stagnating society’s progression. It has been shown many times that, “What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.” In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird where Atticus acts to save Tom Robinson from being convicted of rape, to “The Gettysburg Address” about soldiers who gave their lives trying to save the Union, and “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in which Martin Luther King describes his plan for ending segregation in Birmingham. All of these examples describe something being done, not taught, known, or believed. Actions are the only thing that have actual
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