Race dealingss. particularly between inkinesss and Whites. have ever been a debatable and ardent issue throughout United States’ history. Frederick Douglass was a self-taught black adult male who wrote about his experiences as a slave. In his book. “From Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. an American Slave” . he makes many superb word pictures and penetrations into the unfairnesss and inhuman treatment of bondage. In 1863. Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation and inkinesss were everlastingly freed from bondage. However. this did non set an terminal to racial tenseness or to the black man’s hope for racial equality. One hundred old ages subsequently. segregation was the prevailing system. a system non about every bit barbarous as bondage. but still it was evil and of great adversity to the 20th century black adult male. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a missive from gaol warranting his “nonviolent” campaign to stop segregation everlastingly. King’s missive is through and his thoughts and statements are expressed expeditiously with reasoned principle. Douglass is more hard to understand because there is much more substance under the surface of his authorship. Although they are separated by a century. Douglass and King parallel each other significantly.
King’s rhetoric and system of analysis are a helpful lens1 through which to size up and pull out the of import realisations brooding in Douglass’s narrative. Both King and Douglass depict a quandary in which they face a clang between white man’s jurisprudence and moral jurisprudence. Douglass tells a narrative of his personal experience. whereas King is more concerned with doing his points and endorsing them up with his concrete illustrations. King is more descriptive. more scholarly in his authorship sing he was officially educated and more open than Douglass who was born a slave. King thought Torahs forbiding a black adult male from sitting in the white subdivision of the coach or feeding at a white tiffin counter or holding a civil rights March were unjust and degrading. King wanted to stop segregation by doing a disturbance ; he wanted to move as a “gadfly. ” a disturbance. so that people were forced to cover with the segregation issue because dialogue did non work. King felt direct-action was necessary to doing any advancement. so holding illegal parades to protest segregation was indispensable. In fact. King admired the thought of interrupting “unjust laws” because they cause “non-violent gadflies” .
“I submit that an person who breaks a jurisprudence that scruples tells him is unfair. and who volitionally accepts the punishment of imprisonment in order to elicit scruples of the community over its unfairness. is in world showing the highest regard for jurisprudence. ” ( King 128 ) King went to imprison for making something merely and for a greater good. yet he broke the jurisprudence in making it. Segregation was legal in Birmingham. Alabama. The constabulary enforced the jurisprudence because it was illegal to hold racial equality. King was a maestro at exposing the truth and supplying illustrations to endorse his thoughts up and consistently destroyed the statements for segregation. His of import citation from T. S. Eliot shows the sarcasm in implementing segregation. “The last enticement is the greatest lese majesty: To make the right title for the incorrect ground. ” ( King 136 ) This is an absurd state of affairs. something that sparks a quandary in the head. something that has to be solved. King wants people to look inward and to understand the world of bing moral unfairnesss and repair them.
King justified his interrupting the jurisprudence because he was interrupting an “unjust law” in order to follow with a higher moral jurisprudence. King explains an “unjust law” as “a codification that is out of harmoniousness with the moral law” ( King 126 ) . “any jurisprudence that degrades human personality” ( King 127 ) . and as “a codification that a numerical or power bulk group compels a minority group to obey but does non do binding on itself. ” ( King 127 ) King’s principle was simple. Using King’s statements and cognition to Douglass’s narratives helps one realize more important thoughts brooding in Douglass’s narrative. In fact. there is a major analogue between King and Douglass. The lone difference is that King specify his thought on the surface. whereas in Douglass. the thought is skulking. Douglass is a immature. naif slave who was blessed to hold a maestro. Mrs. Auld. who was nice and taught him some lessons in reading. This harmless event turns into a fiasco when Mr. Auld finds out about his married woman giving their slave an instruction. Mr. Auld told his married woman in forepart of immature Douglass how “unlawful” and “unsafe” it is to educate a slave and “if you teach that nigger how to read. there would be no maintaining him. It would everlastingly disqualify him to be a slave. ” ( Douglass 78 )
This apparently unfortunate event was really the “gadfly” which sparked a whole new train of idea in Douglass’s head. He may hold lost the privilege of reading lessons and the friendly relationship of Mrs. Auld. but he gained of import penetration into the universe. “a particular disclosure. ” ( Douglass 78 ) He explains. “I was gladdened by the priceless direction which. by the merest accident. I had gained from my maestro. ” ( Douglass 78 ) Douglass does non care that prosecuting his instruction is illegal. Like King. Douglass is able to see the difference between “unjust laws” and “just laws” and similar to the constabulary in Birmingham. Mr. Auld is implementing a jurisprudence to keep an immoral system of bondage. What he most awful. that I most desired. What he most loved. that I most hated. That which to him was a great immorality. to be carefully shunned. was to me a great good. to be diligently sought ; and the statement which he so heartily urged. against my acquisition to read. merely served to animate me with a desire and finding to larn. ( Douglass 78 )
Although Douglass does non state it outright. one gets the feeling that he understands the disagreement between moral and white adult male jurisprudence. King’s missive is really clear. precise and right ; it is no admiration why he is so popular. His scheme is formulaic: he presents the issue. provides concrete grounds. and so makes a decision. Douglass is a fantastic narrator who uses his poetic manner to tell an experience. His authorship is full of beautiful descriptions within long. fluxing sentences. These two work forces have different manners and. in this peculiar instance. their Hagiographas are for different intents. Yet. both work forces touch on similar impressions connected with the great issue of racial inequality and “just and unfair Torahs. ”