In doing so, he also redefined himself, the movement he piloted, and was able to justify his reasons for breaking the law at times. White supremacists believed the issue was clear and took the perspective that African Americans were a recessive race and should be kept recessive under the law.
Thoreau doubted the effectiveness of reform within the government, and by presenting his own experiences, argued that petitioning for change achieves little.
Until the world rids itself of this separation illness, all attempts to initiate a healing process will be impossible. He applied this in his compelling letter Letters from Birmingham City Jail, by redefining such basic concepts as a law.
On this stage, the protestors would prepare themselves to be abused, but never retaliate. Competing views of what were just and unjust laws were also the overall problem of the Civil Rights Movement, a movement of which King was a figurehead for.
Interestingly, more than one hundred years later, the same issue of civil rights and equality was tearing the United States apart. Civil rights activists believed that all men were created equal and therefore should be equal under the law.
Here, King defined a law to be not just a legal code, but a code based on moral standards as well. They broke down the barriers of blind discrimination and made all things visible; they knew what was right and just and took matters into their own hands by taking action against society, which benefited everyone in and beyond their time.
This ethical side would make it very difficult for readers to disagree with King, since it is a common value shared by most people that a country and its laws should be based on moral values. One could no longer ask another person to follow a law that supported segregation without revealing a lack of moral consciousness.
Such idea of civil action was taken directly from Thoreau, whose strongest argument was that people were the true power of the government.
Regarding this issue,King and Thoreau are both significant figures in history who have made a strong impact in how our society flows today. The last step mentioned by King was direct action.
In the case of civil rights, such friction created by the government would be the one of racial inequalities. King is spoken highly of today because, simply, he redefined the values of a nation- the way people thought about themselves, about others, about their own lives and of the government by which they were ruled.
The third step was self-purification.
In his essay, King said that he must acknowledge that he had broken the law, and encouraged others to do so too. For both Thoreau and King, their struggles could not be resolved by simple negotiation.
The purpose of a government is providing benefit for the people by acknowledging what is in the best interest for the population as a whole. A direct comparison between the views of Thoreau and King could be made by relating the content mentioned in both of their works.
He insisted that if every man followed his goal and accepted the punishment, anything would be possible. One of the first places King displayed this was when he discussed the difference between a just and unjust law. His civil acts of defiance were revolutionary since he supported a form of protest that did not incorporate violence.
In Letters from Birmingham City Jail, King described the four steps to a non-violent protest, and the first one is collecting the facts to determine whether an injustice exists. Although it is true that both believed that individuals should do what they believe is right in accordance to conscience and that an individual should refuse to obey any unjust government rule, they had a slight contrast between the ways they viewed the existence of a government.Get in-depth analysis of Letter from Birmingham Jail, with this section on Compare and Contrast.
Letter from Birmingham Jail: Compare and Contrast Skip to navigation. Civil Disobedience and Letter From A Birmingham Jail Comparison In writing Civil Disobedience, Thoreau attempts to motivate the American people to change.
He stresses the responsibility of citizens to protest and take action against corrupt and unjust laws of the government. Get in-depth analysis of Letter from Birmingham Jail, with this section on Nonviolent Civil Disobedience. Jul 14, · In Letters from Birmingham City Jail, King described the four steps to a non-violent protest, and the first one is collecting the facts to determine whether an injustice exists.
This relates to Thoreau’s critique of an unjust government. One could say Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience inspired Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail.
Indeed king "was so deeply moved that (he) re-read the work several times. Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau and Letter From Birmingham Jail, by Martin Luther King Jr.
- 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.Download