The Influence of Generation and Music in Literature

Letter from Birmingham Jail, A Call for Unity

People have been listening to poetry, narratives, persuasive essays, and other genres of literature for generations. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that people in our society are exposed to literature daily and are probably enjoying every minute of it in one form or another. Listening to music is most likely one of the most common of these forms. One may argue that some genres of music are too sordid to be examined in such a manner as works from literary legends such as William Shakespeare or Robert Frost. The congruous relationship between these two different forms of literature is the human experience and the generation in which the literature was written. The relationship between these two forms of literature can be observed through one’s life experiences such as a group of individual’s possessing similar problems, ideas, and attitudes. One example in history that influenced these two forms of literature is the civil rights movement era. The written work known as “The Letter from Birmingham Jail” written by Martin Luther King Jr. was a direct result of one’s generation and human experience. The civil rights era also had a profound effect on the music being produced. This could be heard through the musical lyrics from influential musicians such as Bob Dylan among many others. The following examples will show a common parallel of these two forms of literature relating to the influence of generation and human experience. Two examples of written literature during this generation would be “A Call for Unity” written by eight white Alabama clergy men. This letter was published in a local newspaper April 12, 1963. This advised the Negro community to end their demonstrations from “outsiders” and use the local judicial negotiation process in which human rights were being denied. The second example is the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. that was prompted from “A Call for Unity.” In this letter he justifies his presence for being in...
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