Compare And Contrast Letter From Birmingham Jail And The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses Essay

898 Words 4 Pages
Topic: Change versus Tradition
Readings: Letter from a Birmingham Jail and The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses

In the pursuit of the good life making the decision to fight for change and defy traditional norms can bring about many challenges within contradicting sides in society. Martin Luther King Jr. in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and the prisoners in “The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” both followed a higher moral law combined with the universal values of unity, equality, and justice to fight for change in the midst of unjust tradition. Change is necessary when the circumstances you find yourself in are immoral and unjust, Dr. King and the prisoners created tension, through non-violent tactics, in order to fight for what they believed
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By framing his argument around the universal values of morality, justice and unity within a society, rather then simple politics, Martin Luther King Jr. was able to gain sympathy, and understanding from the whites who are the major targeted audience. Even though his letter was in response to criticism of clergymen, if the dominant white groups adopt the civil rights movement then their representatives have to get on board as well. The use of universally accepted values also makes his argument timeless and faultless. If you can’t make the masses that are against you follow you then your movement wont be successful. If you can talk the talk then you should also walk the walk. Without direct action nothing would get done and years of segregation would continue to go by. The urgency of the moment calls for extreme action; however, we see that the word extreme is not used to describe violent action, but instead non-violent demonstrations. In this case moderation maintained the bad life and extremism was what was needed to fight for the good life. We see that different times call for different tactics in order to achieve the good life. Span One also had to adjust their actions to fight for the good life in their circumstances. Although Warder Hannetjie was treated with immoral actions to meet his immoral behavior, this drove both sides to coexist morally and as equally as possible under their conditions. You must treat others how you wish to be treated. Like moderation versus extremism, the morality of honesty would normally be preferred in ordinary circumstances in order to achieve the good life. In this case we see immoral acts such as stealing and lying to ultimately lead to the moral behaviors of unity, and comfort. It is not ideal to break from traditional actions that have worked well to gain the good life in the past, however due

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