Civil Disobedience

Throughout American history, it is clear that many individuals have fought for justice in a society that has often denied it. We know this information from documents written by these individuals expressing their feelings on a certain subject. On the subject of human rights, two specific men have expanded their thoughts to make a difference. The very popular Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose main philosophy on civil disobedience revolved around nonviolence, wrote a Letter From Birmingham Jail to eight clergymen informing them of the situation in Birmingham, Alabama, in April of 1963. Henry David Thoreau, a 19th century individualist, wrote an essay called Civil Disobedience in which he explained his reasons for not paying taxes to a government that was involved in an unjust war with Mexico. Although these works were written for different causes, the two are similar in some ways. Both are similar in how they get the reader to see and feel what the writter sees and feels. Both men, King and Thoreau, used emotional appeal in their work. This was used to gain support from the reader by creating a feeling of sympathy to be felt by the reader. Dr. Kings most emotional section was his feelings on segregation. His feelings were based on how it was to be black living in a segregated environment. This was extremely important considering that he was directing his thoughts to the eight white clergymen. He started a paragraph referring to the impact of segregation as stinging darts. The following sentences gave examples of the segregation and what it put black people through. In one specific sentence, King used the image of you having to tell your young, innocent child that she cannot go to the amusement park simply because of the color of her skin. King wrote, …when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-yea…

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