Civil Disobedience, By Henry David Thoreau And Letter From Birmingham Jail, By Martin Luther King Jr.

1036 words - 4 pages

The essays, "Civil Disobedience," by Henry David Thoreau, and "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," by Martin Luther King, Jr., incorporate the authors’ opinions of justice. Each author efficiently shows their main point; Thoreau deals with justice as it relates to government, he asks for,”not at one no government, but at once a better government.”(Paragraph 3). King believed,” injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." (Paragraph 4). Each essay shows a valid argument for justice, but King's philosophy is more effective, because it has more logical points of views.
King’s letter from a Birmingham Jail was an act of his encouragement for protest against the white’s traditions in which were unjust. King, a leader of civil rights groups was against traditional views; King encouraged protesting against tradition and established laws that are unjust. In his letter from Birmingham Jail King states, “Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws." (Paragraph 22) the portion of that paragraph is significant because in Hitler's Germany, a Communist country, or any situation in which injustices are occurring. King was against the traditional views and unjust laws, which were against his fellow people and Martin Luther King Jr. himself.
He incorporates zeitgeist which is a word that symbolizes the spirit of the age. He compares the political freedom with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. (Paragraph 30)
The rhetorical strategies King uses in his Letter from Birmingham Jail shows the need for justice in paragraphs 13 and 14 which also shows lots of pathos, he analyzes the important facts of changing segregation laws. King uses many similes in the paragraph, but when he's analyzing the "justice too long delayed is justice denied". King uses phrases such as "Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed" and "we still creep at horse-and-buggy like pace". He uses symbolism when saying "the cup of endurance runs over", and "plunged into the abyss of despair". By this King is trying to emphasize that there is a point when the black people collectively will no longer conform to being mistreated unequally, and no matter how much endurance they might have a revolt.
King felt protesting against the unjust laws and traditional beliefs of the white was the only solution for them to change. The letter was written to his fellow clergymen to explain his actions and to attempt to justify them. In the letter he tried to explain to the Clergymen, his actions were for the justice even knowing it was illegal, but he knew he was he would been...

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