Synthesis Essay on "Only Love and Then Oblivion” & “After the Death of Martin Luther King: Chaos or Community”

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Vanessa G.
English 12

Synthesis Essay
With the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the three thousand dead from 9/11, these two major events have drastically changed, not only American history, but as well as the lives of many Americans themself. Both King and the Trade Center can be seen as symbols of a new hope and peace for many Americans but tragically, the fall of both these symbols results in chaos for this progressing nation. With the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Guardian’s “After the death of Martin Luther King: chaos or community” and the collapse of the World Trade center in Ian McEwan’s “Only Love and Then Oblivion”, the ideas of chaos and unity play essential components in each piece of writing through the aftermath of these senseless acts of destruction.

Known for being one of the greatest American civil rights leaders of the 1960’s, Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the betterment of African Americans but when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, all hope for racial justice seemed lost. King sought out to end segregation amongst the whites and the blacks with non-violent methods such as “the use of boycotts and the vote to create a lever for change” (Peterson 1-2). With that being said, King never saw violence as a solution to any problems for he felt that “riots [never] won any concrete improvement as have the organised protest demonstrations” (Peterson 2). His assassination sparked the on-going tension amongst whites and blacks resumes along with a lost voice for violent and non-violent solutions. Immediately after, the death of Martin Luther King did not result in a more united America, but an America left momentarily unchanged for the blacks. Similarly, the collapse of the World Trade Center is known to be one of the most chaotic events in American history, but in contrast, the repercussion that the Americans embraced united them through the power of empathy. McEwan further expands on how the power of empathy,...
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