Similarities And Differences Between Martin Luther King And Thoreau

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Henry David Thoreau were both great literary figures in the United States, yet they lived in different time periods. Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and King’s Letter to Birmingham Jail”are quite similar, in addition obtain certain differences between the texts. Both writers demonstrate each other 's audience on ways of being civilly disobedient towards their corrupt government and how to have a relationship with them. On the other hand, certain differences, both texts possess are whom it was addressed to as well as the occasions and appeal. Both texts fractions in similarities and differences through their analysis, such as occasion, strategies used, and other figures used in their writings. …show more content…
Thoreau criticizes the materialism of American society in a critical manner by implying that “government is best which governs less” (Thoreau 1) demonstrating his belief that government 's control its people for self benefit. Dr. King criticizes the government in a similar manner to Thoreau by directing his statement of “we have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights” (King 3), which states himself as the voice of the oppressed which seek for equality. In addition, Dr. King envisions that “justice too long delayed is justice denied” (King 3), which explains his direct and aggressive approach toward the clergyman. As both direct each other’s audience in a logical attempt to leave the need to take action in any act of injustice, King uses his emotion and religious knowledge as part of his tone. His affecting intentions include his quotation, “by developing an unconscious bitterness… have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: ‘Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?’” continuing with “when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading ‘white’ and ‘colored’.”(King 3), which constructs the sense of culpability as it intends. His religious comprehension can be expressed, as he, a minister, understands how to appeal his audience (the clergymen), the encounter of sin through his words, “How does one determine …show more content…
Henry David Thoreau expresses his aim in writing his “Resistance to Civil Disobedience” was to advocate protesting the government in nonviolent mannerisms. He considers that not taking initiation and solely discuss abolishing evil, is comparable to inciting it. He encourages this by evoking that “All men recognize...the right to resist, the government , when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and endurable. But almost all say that such is not the case now.” (Thoreau). In contrast to Thoreau, King’s occasion for his “Letter to Birmingham Jail” was a response towards the letter published in a newspaper by eight Alabama clergymen. These eight individuals describe King’s intentions as full of abomination and barbarity, yet King defends himself responding that, “it is even more unfortunate that the white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative. In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps” (King 1), which indicates the hypocrisy of the white power toward the colored people as if they were the barbaric ones nonetheless, the government commenced the usage of brute force against the colored

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