Rules are meant to be broken. Is this true? For Thoreau, Gandhi, and King, it is true, for they all had reasons to break the rules and laws of the government. Each speaker kindled a movement that resisted injustice, and sparked change forever, through the use of logos, ethos, and pathos, the most powerful persuasive techniques. These three techniques are called the rhetorical triangle because they work so well together. Logic, ethics, and emotions are all accounted for when these devices are used correctly, which is evident in each author’s speech to push change in society through peaceful resistance. Thoreau, Gandhi, and King, speakers from different times, enforce the belief that civil disobedience is a valuable trait to promote social progress through uniting their audiences and revealing the injustices that need to be fixed. People are less likely to follow a movement if they do not understand the reasons and logic behind it. Thoreau, Gandhi, and King all clearly explain why they are taking a stand, and what government has done to ignite resistance, as well as make it known to the audience what benefits will come from joining. The overall argument of each speaker is apparent when Thoreau simply states that “unjust laws exist” (70). To invoke change, the audience must first understand that they are being wronged. Thoreau points out that unjust laws exists in order to prove his point that each person must hold their own laws above the government’s, for if they
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From the start of man fighting for freedom or his beliefs, the question has consistently been whether a person can wage a battle using words rather than actions. The notion of civil disobedience would seem to be an inept weapon against political inequity; history, however, has persistently proven it to be the most dynamic weapon of the individual. By refusing to pay his taxes and subsequently being imprisoned, Henry David Thoreau demonstrated this very defiance. Thoreau’s Resistance to Civil Government conveys the effectiveness of the individual conscience, renounces hypocrisy, and cultivates a sense of urgency where inaction creates a moral conflict. This path of responsibility paved by Thoreau gave our leaders of today the means they
Thoreau, Milgram and King all consider the difficulties of resisting majority rule, standing up to authority, and protesting against the established rules and laws. Henry Thoreau wrote “Civil Disobedience” to focus on the relationship of individuals to the state that focused on why people obey the laws of the government even if they
In Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and in Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, both address the responsibility of the individual to stand up for their beliefs and to defy any idea that goes against their consciences or their moral standards. From this defiance, Thoreau states the need for civil disobedience. King later uses this term to respond to the white moderates and to express the need for direct action, as does Thoreau. The idea of civil disobedience expressed by Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr are evident in today’s nation through their methods , however, these beliefs can be spread further as the nation progresses.
Anyone can determine for themselves if they believe a law is unjust or just. In "Civil Disobedience" and "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King use different techniques in order to show their own opinions on injustice in the government. The government decides whether a law is reasonable, however what if people of the public disagree with the morality of such law ? Should they act against it? Thoreau and King both make it clear that it is important to speak out against injustice.Though they both conveys their philosophy on civil disobedience in many similar ways, they had differences in the techniques they used in their essays, such as their approach to their appeals, audience and tone.
Both, Thoreau and King, in their works “Civil Disobedience” and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” successfully and effectively delineates arguments for the importance and necessity of civil disobedience. Although both essays present very similar ideas, it is important to note the similarities and differences which are evident through the use of language and the presentation of the arguments and ideas because if it were not for the proper use of language, tone, and presentation of the idea of civil disobedience in Dr. King’s letter, he might not have been successful in his campaign; Thoreau initially presented the idea of civil disobedience in 1848, but his contemporaries dismissed his political essays.
Have you ever felt a rule you had to follow was unjust? Have you ever felt your moral instinct tell you not to follow it? Prominent figures in American history, Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry David Thoreau, felt this way and decided to not follow the rules imposed on them by indulging in “civil disobedience”. Civil disobedience is the act of peacefully disobeying laws or customs with the purpose of combating moral injustice. This form of protest has proven to be quite effective in making change in history. In “Civil Disobedience” and the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, both Thoreau and King Jr. write their justification for their actions as well as their feelings regarding the particular disputed
Two identical concepts can be received in two completely different ways depending on the manner they are presented in. In Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau puts forward his argument that the only way to stop the immoral ways of the American government is by taking immediate action. The same belief is portrayed in a more emotional approach in Letter From a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.. Although both focus on equivalent concepts, their presentation separates them into two different categories, with Letter From a Birmingham Jail being clearly superior to the other.
If this does not work or work fast enough or if the system fails then one should resort to publically breaking the law in question in a non-violent manner on the sole bases of ones conscience. In the case of Thoreau, it was not paying taxes, for Ghandi it was hunger strikes, and for Martin Luther King it was the organization of site-ins and public demonstrations.
Henry David Thoreau is the author of “Civil Disobedience” and is part of the force that sparked a resistance towards the government in the U.S.A.. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement. Both of these inspirational figures have had a deep effect on American society. As Thoreau’s and King’s difference in time periods and circumstances are demonstrated throughout the articles, the comparison in their purpose and methods can also be applied in a modern society.
Henry David Thoreau was an American writer and protester, who wrote the influential essay “Civil Disobedience”. In his essay, he advocates for citizens to protest against government actions that they deem unjust and to stand up for one’s rights, putting morals before law,
The topic of civil disobedience is one that has been hotly contested in both theory and practice throughout much of recent history. The discourse within this essay will centre around the legitimacy of civilly disobedient actions and on whether it can be considered civil disobedience to partake in violent action against the state or the majority. This debate has been previously outlined by John Rawls and John Morreal, Rawls taking the side of strict non-violence and Morreal arguing that the definition of violence includes even Rawls’ supposed non-violent acts. This essay will have two parts: the first will give a summary of the argument between Rawls and Morreal, the second will be my argument for civil disobedient action in stages. I will
There have been certain individuals and events that have been present in our history that have embellished the importance of disobedience. In the speech “The Ballot or the Bullet” by Malcolm X states , “ Any time you demonstrate against segregation and a man has the audacity to put a police dog on you , kill that dog ,kill him,i'm telling you,kill that dog.“ X indicates that you must use violence to fight for justice.This validates Wilde’s claim that disobedience is a man virtue because once your natural rights are violated you are granted with the authority of defending them .Once an immense amount of change occurs, they will realize that disobedience is the successful way to make social progress . With activiste being aware of the following consequences the overall goal was to seek for change. Martin Luther King jr. was a civil rights activist during the civil rights movement . In his letter from the
His speech focused on the wrongs of the government and then talked about the duties of the people. He stated, “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.” The quote stated by Thoreau is very similar to one of Gandhi’s quotes where he says,”If you make laws to keep us suppressed in a wrongful manner and without taking us into confidence, these laws will merely adorn the statute-books. We will never obey them.” The two excerpts both reflect the actions that both Thoreau and Gandhi took to put their beliefs in motion.
The political concepts of justice and how a society should be governed have dominated literature through out human history. The concept of peacefully resisting laws set by a governing force can be first be depicted in the world of the Ancient Greeks in the works of Sophocles and actions of Socrates. This popular idea has developed over the centuries and is commonly known today as civil disobedience. Due to the works of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. civil disobedience is a well-known political action to Americans; first in the application against slavery and second in the application against segregation. Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience” and King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” are the leading arguments in defining
After reading “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, I believe that this historic piece of literature can still have a substantial impact upon the current beliefs of the American people. The reason that this essay has such significance to America is because this essay addresses the proper way to go about civil disobedience in addition to providing education about the nature of civil disobedience. I believe the most significant message that this essay could teach Americans is expressed in this quote, “A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.” This quote expresses the need to not just believe in a cause but to actively support it. This is in contrast to a wide spread phenomenon called false activism that is prominent in society. We all know someone who is, and for the most part all of us are guilty of seeing a cause online, claiming to support it, and then not doing a single thing to progress the cause. For example, most everyone you talk to would claim to strongly support more environmentally friendly methods of gathering energy yet the majority of us have not done anything to progress the cause of green energy.