Martin Luther King, an American Baptist minister and activist, was a leader and an important part of the African-American Civil rights movement. He fought for black rights and stood up against authorities unjust treatment of his fellow black brothers and sisters. In his letter to the Alabama clergymen, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” he disagrees and oppose their allegations made on Kings way of protest in dealing with the racial problems in Alabama. King, being a minister, makes numerous religious arguments and speaks upon the treatment African-Americans undergo daily. Thoreau and Dr. King,
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.
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.
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. Both King and Thoreau address these arguments in similar and divergent fashions through the use of purpose, and persuasive writing styles.
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. They try to convince their audience that they are doing the right thing by using the three appeals; however, they both approach their arguments differently.
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.
Throughout history there have been many political changes that are either supported, or not, by citizens. In the given passage from, "Civil Disobedience," by Thoreau, a perspective of disagreeing with the government ways, is provided. Thoreau explains how a government should be in comparison to how it really is by utilizing his words to set the tone and mode, imagery to achieve his audience's understanding, and diction to make his writing scholarly.
Civil disobedience can mean many things to many people. To some people it could mean a non-violent means of protesting or attempting to achieve political goals; however, in the eyes of people like Martin Luther King Jr it could be different. He stated that “one has the moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”. Martin Luther King Jr prove this by doing many non-violent protest during his time, to fight against segregation. The meaning of civil disobedience is a bit different in Henry Thoreau’s eyes. He explains civil disobedience as “that it is more important to develop respect for the right, rather than a respect for the law, for people’s obligations are to do what's right”. There are many different people who show civil disobedience in
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.
Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862 born and raised in Concord, was a popular student in Harvard. Despite his financial and health deformities he was able to graduate from the university. By 1837 America was facing an economic depression and jobs were not easily available. Thoreau began to write poems and essays of transcendentalism to escape from the development and also to emphasize on nature. Therefore, he spent two years in Walden Pond (Schneider, 2013).
Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is a dissertation written by American abolitionist, author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau published by Elizabeth Peabody in the Aesthetic Papers in 1849. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was born and lived almost his life in Concord, Massachusetts. After finishing public and private school in Concord he attended the prestige Harvard University. He excelled at Harvard despite leaving school for several months due to health and financial setbacks. Mr. Thoreau graduated in the top half of his class in 1837. Mr. Thoreau argues that people should not allow any government to control or atrophy their thoughts or beliefs. Mr. Thoreau was an also remained a devoted abolitionist and has written
A strong country can only prevail when individuals have attained the ideals of justice and equality. However, throughout American history people have had to fight for their rights due to the injustices caused by the government. In “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. promotes the importance of justice and equality through responding to a letter from clergymen who wanted him to stop protesting against racial inequality. King’s letter builds upon his influences such as Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and Thomas Jefferson’s “The Declaration of Independence,” through expressing discontentment with injustice and proclaiming away to combat it. The texts can also
Henry David Thoreau’s book “Civil Disobedience” (1847) and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963) both are written to expose unjust laws in the United States while having considerable differences in their tone. Thoreau and King both challenge the common majority to resist injustice and they both went to jail to support their cause. Although, Thoreau’s book has a negative tone that is simply angry and contains negative allusions, King’s tone is very “disappointed” for the fact that his allusions insue a greater emotional effect on the reader.
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. Thus that a person ought to do as he does and not agree to pay taxes to the state that is in support of such evil customs or practices. While both King and Thoreau triumph in their establishment of a firm perception of what they strongly have faith in, they both are successful in their efforts to persuade through different means. Regarding the manner in which King draws emotional appeal through passionate speech, we also see with Thoreau when he makes apparent that he is devoted in what he stands for. Thus attracting more appeal through being more troubled and concerned instead of being innocently optimistic and hopeful. Nevertheless, similarities weigh against differences as both King and Thoreau give reliability to the moral
Civil disobedience is the deliberate action against an unjust law to invoke a positive change in government and society. Civilians have the right to refute these types of unjust laws to eliminate inequality and government’s unjust nature by following conscience before laws for moral guidance. As demonstrated in Antigone, this is depicted by the daughter of Oedipus, who disobeys Creon’s law for the greater good because of the laws unjust nature. In Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist, promotes this concept as well through his philosophical standpoint of the flaws of the government. Lastly, in Dr. King’s letter he qualifies the idea of civilians disobeying their government through non violent campaigns to stand up against