The Differing Appeals of King and Thoreau


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Essay #: 073805
Total text length is 6,231 characters (approximately 4.3 pages).

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The beginning:
The Differing Appeals of King and Thoreau
It is important to note that both Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr wrote their landmark treatises, 'Letter From Birmingham Jail' and 'Civil Disobedience,' after short stints in jail, Birmingham and Concord accordingly. However, though they argued for similar methods and similar goals, namely resistance against the unjust practices of a ruling government, the manner by which they were imprisoned foreshadowed the very different appeals that they pursued while making their arguments. Thoreau was jailed essentially for tax evasion, spent only a night and a day behind bars, and soon was not only bailed out but his aunt paid off the charges against him. King, meanwhile, was among a mass of...
The end:
.....tifling influence. King, on the other hand, argues that there are just laws and unjust laws, and references moral law given by God. By connecting it to the Bible and the prophets of Amos, he insures that the conversation stays with shame, and guilt, and feelings of 'right' and 'wrong,' rather than Thoreau's more intellectual assault on government whose 'right' and 'wrong' are more closely tied to necessity and rational thinking.
In conclusion, King and Thoreau effectively argue the same thing, that when laws are unjust, it is imperative that those that live under them attempt to hamper the society that instilled them. However, their methods, and source of their convictions, differ enough to create a very disparate approach to a common goal.