Similarities Between Thoreau And Martin Luther King

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Both Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King had experience with civil disobedience. They were both arrested for peacefully protesting laws they found unfair. Thoreau was put in prison for refusing to pay a poll tax, and was ultimately protesting slavery. King, on the other hand, was put in jail for protesting the unjust treatment of blacks and other colored people across America. Though the circumstances were slightly different, King and Thoreau use many of the same techniques to appeal to their audiences. One of the techniques they use is ethical appeals. Thoreau mainly utilizes this by telling the citizens they have a right and a duty to stand up for what they know is right. According to Thoreau, each of us has a moral obligation to discourage wrongdoing, no matter the personal cost. King also tells his audience to follow their conscience rather than the government when the government is wrong. He says there are two types of laws, just and unjust. He believes it is better to break unjust laws and be punished than to go against your morals. …show more content…

Thoreau uses pathos to make the reader feel a sense of rage. He uses very strong language infused with passion, yet remains civil. He claims those working for the government, whether in the military or legislature, are mainly used and seen as tools rather than men. This claim makes the reader angry or indignant because it shows the government does not view their workers as people, but rather machines. King also uses pathos, but he uses it more to tug at the heartstrings. He most effectively uses it when he writes about how hard it is to explain racism and segregation to his young children. This tactic would be especially effective if his readers had children of their own, because they could put themselves in his

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