Martin Luther King And Thoreau Similarities

Decent Essays
Each person is entitled to their own opinion; we all have different ideas on the same or different things, but that does not always mean that their opinion is wrong. Each Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. had an opinion, and they each made sure that they would share it with the world. They both wrote famous persuasive essays that changed how we viewed the government. They both used literary elements and as well pathos, or emotional appeal to carry out their ideas. Both of them expressed their own idea, their preferences and what they thought was right and expressed what they thought was wrong. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and David Thoreau are completely two different people from completely different eras of time, but they share things in common.…show more content…
Martin Luther King Jr. was a man that believed in turning the law around and to make his people (African Americans) heard and he did this through multiple years of peaceful protesting and riots. He fought for so many years against discrimination and ended up beating it and it made a huge difference today in our society. This endless struggle is reflected in his Letter to Birmingham which he wrote in a jail cell after being arrested for leading a peaceful riot in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. King addresses the clergyman in his letter saying that he was upset about their criticisms and he would like to address their concerns. Dr. King further explains in his letter about who the antagonist was, the white people and how he must always wait for their approval. He states, “Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost…show more content…
King. Thoreau was actually arrested before he wrote his famous essay “Civil Disobedience” because he did not want to pay poll taxes and from this incident he decided to write his essay. Thoreau believed that the government should introod in other people's lives but instead should be there for people to use for their will but it is okay to misuse it. Thoreau think it's okay to break the law and that it shouldn't take over someone's life. He differs in this way from Dr. King because King wanted to change the law and make it right for the lives of African American’s. “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth--certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.” (Thoreau Page 8) In this quote Thoreau explains his view of the government and how it should not control people. This is one thing he and dr. King have in common because neither of them wanted to have the law tell them how to live their
Get Access