"Letter From A Birmingham Jail", By Martin Luther King And Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience."

786 words - 4 pages

"Letter From a Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" both display their authors' views on justice in their respective periods of time. King believes that one has the right to break a law that is morally unjust. Thoreau has a rather radical approach to the subject in that he believes when a government becomes unjust, it is the right and duty of the people to refuse participation in it. He also makes it clear that a major weakness in the democratic government is that its power comes from the majority because they are the strongest, not because they hold the most legitimate viewpoint. Both essays argue for justice in an unjust world using ...view middle of the document...

They are not nearly as effective as King's. One interesting implement of pathos is Thoreau's description of a marine, or in his words, a man made by the "black arts" of the government, "moveable forts." The soldiers march "in admirable order over hill and dale to wars, against their wills." While this is a fine comparison of a soldier, it is not effective to his argument. The allusion to the Apostle Paul in King's essay is positive and constructive while the implication of death in Thoreau's comparison is dark and depressing. King is clearly more persuasive than Thoreau under the pathos category.Both writers attempt to reach out to their readers with the use of another persuasive technique, logical appeal, or logos. Once again, King's writing appeals more to the reader. He uses many comparisons to reinforce and qualify his actions. Thoreau uses many comparisons as well, but they are vague and irrelevant to his thesis. Perhaps the most thought provoking comparison that King uses is one in which he argues the true meaning of legal and illegal activities. He does this by alluding to Hitler's legal activities in Germany and the illegal struggle of the Hungarian freedom fighters. With that simple statement, King causes the...

Other Essays On "Letter From A Birmingham Jail", By Martin Luther King And Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience."

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

541 words - 3 pages Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, being men of great figurative speech, had similar levels of integrity on segregation, voting ability, equal opportunity, opposition of violence, but differed in the involvement on sit-ins demonstration. They changed segregation laws, in a way that will be suitable for African Americans.In Malcolm X's "Ballot or the Bullet," he spoke about how segregation laws could be stopped and how they could help stop it

Compare/Contrast The Writing Styles And Technique Used By Thomas Jefferson And Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

1055 words - 5 pages Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. were brilliant men. The Declaration of Independence, written primarily by Jefferson, and the Letter From Birmingham Jail, written by King, are perfect examples of their intellect. Looking at these documents and observing the tactics they use while attempting to move their audience toward their ultimate goal, one can see the finesse that both Jefferson and King possessed. The Declaration of

The Truth Of Martin Luther King

2947 words - 12 pages recently assembled by sympathetic King scholars Keith D. Miller, Ira G. Zepp, Jr., and David J. Garrow.And no less an authoritative source than the four senior editors of "The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.- - (an official publication of the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc., whose staff includes King's widow Coretta), stated of King's writings at both Boston University and Crozer Theological Seminary: "Judged

Analysis of literary techniques used by Martin Luther King in his March on Washington Adress

407 words - 2 pages Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "March on Washington Address" is a brilliant piece of writing that combines ethos, pathos, and logos in a near-perfect balance to convey a message. The speech is very persuasive, as King uses very strong metaphors and repetition to reinforce his ideas, "In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration

An Essay On The Speech Of Martin Luther King, "I Have A Dream" And "The Ballot Or The Bullet" By Malcolm X. The Differences And Similiraties Of These Two Speeches

1734 words - 7 pages years back when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Martin Luther King was a Baptist Minister who non-violently fought to free all people from the bondage of separation and injustice. In his speech, he said that the Blacks had to gain their rightful places but not by wrongful deeds - "not by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred" (p. 20, l. 65). He wanted to fight on the plane of dignity and discipline. However, regardless of the

Martin Luther And Benjamin Franklin

1765 words - 8 pages Martin Luther grew up during the Italian Renaissance, a time when Italy began moving from Medieval to Modern times, a time of tension in the political and economic arenas. The Italian Renaissance marked the rebirth of republicanism and capitalism. Luther also grew up during the Northern Renaissance, at which time the introduction of Nationalism took place. Nationalism based itself on controlling the businessmen, aristocrats, and the church. At

Should Civil Disobedience Be Permitted In A Democracy?

572 words - 3 pages Civil disobedience is the act of disobeying the law on the grounds of political principle without using violence. People decide to use civil disobedience as a means of getting into court in hopes of changing any laws they feel are unconstitutional and unjust. Henry David Thoreau believed "People living in a democracy have the right to disobey any law they believe is unjust." Martin Luther King Jr. said, "We are American citizens. We are not here

Henry David Thoreau, A Quote Analysis

586 words - 3 pages hook with a couple of yells and screams from my parents, but because I lied I had more punishment. I realized from that point on that lies have bigger “thorns” then truths do, and I always told the truth from that point on.Another time that I lied was in 7th grade, when my English teacher gave out progress reports, and I had a C-, which was the worst of my life. I was very scared to tell my parents, because I knew if I told them I wouldn

Creative Autobiography: A First Person Account Of Henry David Thoreau

1097 words - 5 pages attention to be on the subtle art of literature (Gradesaver 1). I often strayed from the normal class, and independently learned from the fully stocked Harvard Library (Sauder 1). My fixations were learning the fields of Latin and Greek grammar, philosophy, and mathematics. It was here where I was provided the adequate base for writing my novels and essays (Gradesaver 1).After graduating, I attempted to become a school teacher. I was shot down by

Why The North Won The Civil War By David Donald: Reflection On The Economic, Military, Diplomatic, Political, And Social Reasons The South Lost

1391 words - 6 pages Why the North Won the Civil WarHistorians have argued inconclusively for years over the prime reason for Confederate defeat in the Civil War. The book Why the North Won the Civil War outlines five of the most agreed upon causes of Southern defeat, each written by a highly esteemed American historian. The author of each essay does acknowledge and discuss the views of the other authors. However, each author also goes on to explain their

Thomas Becket -This is a basic overview of the life of Thomas Becket. It also tells about the power struggle between Becket and King Henry II

351 words - 2 pages The story of King Henry II and Thomas Becket tell us a tale of their friendship, which at times, becomes violent. King Henry and Thomas Becket were great friends, however, when Thomas Becket is appointed as the Archbishop of Canterbury, their lives are changed forever when their political differences are realized. Because Becket gave up his state title to be fully committed to the church, the King wanted revenge on Becket. The King felt that

Similar Papers

Compare And Contrast Martin Luther King With Henry David Thoreau

568 words - 3 pages However with different motives; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry David Thoreau were both admirable men that strived for a better government. As respected spokesmen they served as rebels against what they thought to be bad one's stopping at nothing. Not even jail.Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. were both brilliant men. Thoreau's "Civil Obedience" and Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" are perfect examples of their

Martin Luther King Jr Essay

595 words - 3 pages On January 15,1929 Michael Luther King Jr., which was later changed to Martin,was born. His father Michael Luther King was a Baptist minister and his motherwas a school teacher named Alberta King. In 1948 King graduated fromMorehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. with a Bachelor of Arts. After King'ssuccessful campaign to achieve the desegregation of public facilities inBirmington, Alabama in 1965, he concentrated most of his time and efforts on

Martin Luther King Jr Essay

463 words - 2 pages Martin LutherThe reformation began within the Catholic Church .On Oct. 31, 1517 , Martin Luther a professor and a monk oftheology, posted his 95 Theses on the Castle Church inWittenberg, Germany . This theses were series that attacked thesale of indulgences . Luther criticized what he considered otherabuses in the church . Luther taught that God justifies humanbeings . What Luther meant was that God makes them righteousthrough His kindness to

Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King & Malcolm X

1682 words - 7 pages that Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X agreed on nearly every point. Malcolm X even said that violence should not be used unless it was used on the blacks first (Howard-Pitney 175). Where the two leaders disagreed in was how civil rights would be obtained. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were described by Lewis Baldwin as the " 'yin and yang' deep in the soul of black America" and Baldwin stressed "they needed each other, learned from