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Ethics - Essay Example

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Summary
Name Professor Class Date Compare and contrast Martin Luther Kings “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and Michael Pollan’s “An Animal Place” use of rhetorical techniques The essays/letter of Martin Luther King entitled “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and Michael Pollan’s “An Animal Place” share the same theme of protesting about something albeit the nature and significance of the subjects they are protesting vary tremendously in importance…
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Ethics

Download file to see previous pages... In Michael Pollan’s essay, he protested against the ill treatment of animals when they are slaughtered for us to eat. He protested against suffering albeit it is not about human suffering but of animal suffering. Nevertheless, both protested against something, Martin Luther King, a legendary civil rights leader that helped end the discrimination against the Negro while Michael Pollan is a reputable animal rights activist known for his advocacy for animal rights and against artificial method of growing agriculture. In protesting against animal cruelty and suffering, Pollan used the rhetorical technique of personification and analogy to be able to reason in behalf of animals whose suffering he intends to mitigate if not end. Personification is a rhetorical technique of giving objects or animals human-like attribute and qualities. He also used analogy, which is a rhetorical technique used to compare and reason similar instances. These devices of using personification and analogy are necessary for Pollan to use for him to elevate his subject (which are animals) to the province of human beings so that he can effectively argue for them. Martin Luther King on the other hand used a different rhetorical technique due to the nature of his letter which was an open letter by nature (it was addressed to clergymen, plural) to be read by anyone of his constituents and not expecting for a formal reply because he was coming from jail and was addressed to a lot of people. Thu Martin Luther King used rhetorical question/remarks in his letter whereby he posed a lot of questions in his call to action for the Negro to continue to assert through non-violent means to end segregation, discrimination and injustice. Thus his letter was peppered with rhetorical questions and remarks which numbered more than 28. Some of these rhetorical questions read as such; "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? One many think that these rhetorical technique is inflammatory that borders to anger. But it has to be noted to put the letter in proper perspective that such letter is Martin Luther King’s call to action. In a way his way to vent his frustration over the inaction of the church and the Negroes but was not said in anger as he clarifies in the letter “In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. There can be no deep disappointment where there in not deep love”. It is difficult to compare to the same level Pollan’s advocacy for animals with King’s civil rights movement. King was virtually upholding human dignity for the Negro to be treated as human beings while Pollan’s argument almost called for animals to be treated with relative dignity as he asserted for ending their suffering and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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