A Passion for Equality: Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr.

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Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. both shared a similar theme in their writing, which was their passion for equality. These two authors both desperately longed for fairness amongst the people of our nation. Though the stories of Thoreau and King were similar, how they went about it differed.

The tone in Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was much different compared to Henry David Thoreau’s “Resistance to Civil Government”. The two men were similar because they were both extremely passionate about their cause, but King seemed to become increasingly more irritated and frustrated as his letter progressed. In the beginning of King’s letter, he was very calm however towards the end he began to go about it differently. King emphasized a lot more than Thoreau did, simply because King’s letter was much more in depth and was longer in length. King used many detailed descriptions and examples from history to support almost everything point he made in his letter. For example, King stated that Apostle Paul left his village to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Greco-Roman world. King compared himself to Paul because King has left him hometown to carry the gospel of freedom.

Thoreau focused a lot more on the government than Martin Luther did. Thoreau seemed to focus on issues dealing with how the government was ran and the laws within it. However, King did mention the laws saying that they were unjust as were the people enforcing them rather than the people making them. A major difference in the two men would be their approach to the issue. The both were very apparent that they fought in peaceful and non-violent means, but it seemed as though King depended on his fellow Christians more so than anything while Thoreau had support from a more general group. Thoreau seemed to believe that many people did not believe in unjust laws, segregation, or were unsatisfied with the government, but were just too afraid to stand up for themselves....
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