Fight For Freedom Essay

764 words - 4 pages

Throughout the duration of human existence there have been defining moments in our history where the resistance and zealous disobedience of an oppressed populace has led to a transformed society. Slavery, oppression, and the forced subjugation of minorities have been shrouded truths for our minuscule history. The precedent fact that an ethnocentric elite always manages to oppress the belittled majority is a truth not easily ignored. King argues that the virtue of freedom is not “voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” Citizens are obligated to fight for their fundamental rights; Widener’s “Tank Man,” Thoreau’s “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” and the Arab Spring validate King’s claim that freedom is a virtue that can only be acquired through resistance and insubordination.
Jeff Widener’s photograph, “Tank Man,” depicts the strength of an individual and the ability for a single courageous act to propel an already anxious populace into a revolution. Widener accentuates the individual behind the resistance of a tyrannical government. The “Tank Man” and his ability in halting the progress of a larger than life entity incites the belief that average men are capable of igniting revolutions. Widener’s illustration explains that one man’s choice of civil disobedience leads to the revolution that became the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the fight for freedom from an autocratic government. The image of an average man, peacefully halting the progress of his oppressive government, depicts King’s argument that the oppressed must demand their freedom. It was the “Tank Man’s” simple and placid, yet powerful, act of defiance that inspired the uprise of the whole country. One man’s desire for freedom created a revolution.
Henry David Thoreau’s “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” illustrates the importance of resisting an unjust government and instilling the individual's moral beliefs and consciousness into the government. Thoreau emphasizes on the belief that it is an individual’s duty to commit civil disobedience. Disobeying an unjust and immoral government is each individual's moral obligation. Thoreau believes that it is important to “ be men first, and subject afterwards,” to put morality before loyalty to a government (Thoreau 941). Achieving a just society needs arduous commitment and passion; individuals must be willing to “suffer the right to...

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