Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Comparing Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry David Thoreau :: Compare Contrast Comparison
By acting civil but disobedient you are able to protest things you don't think are fair, non-violently. Henry David Thoreau is one of the most important literary figures of the nineteenth century. Thoreau?s essay 'Civil Disobedience,' which was written as a speech, has been used by many great thinkers such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi as a map to fight against injustice. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a pastor that headed the Civil Rights movement. He was a gifted speaker and a powerful writer whose philosophy was non-violent but direct action. Dr.King?s strategy was to have sit-ins, boycotts, and marches. Dr. King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' was based on the principles of Thoreau's 'Civil Disobedience'. Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry David Thoreau are exceptional persuasive writers. Even though both writers are writing on ways to be civil but disobedient, they have opposite ways of convicing you. Dr. King is religious, gentle and apologetic, focusing on whats good for the group; while Thoreau is very aggressive and assertive for his own personal hate against the government. Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry David Thoreau have the same ideas, but view them differently. Dr. King wants to ultimately raise awareness and open doors for the better of a group. Thoreau wants more individual rights for people. Dr. King is explaining his view of conscience: I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã very highest respect for the law (Martin Luther King, p. 521).Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã This quote shows Dr. King?s opinion on going to jail. King knows that he was unjustly put into jail. He accepts going to jail even though he was put in jail wrongly. The community then knows of the injustice and should pressure the government. The other thing that happens is King is respecting the law by obeying it. He is a peaceful man and wants justice, but believes in following the rules peacefully to get the job done. Thoreau feels that conscience plays a more personal role. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã right and wrong, but conscience?... Must the citizen ever for a moment, or Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã man a conscience, then. I think that we should be men first, and subject Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã afterward (Henry David Thoreau, p.581). Thoreau is questioning why majorities make the rules.