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Three Ways of Meeting Oppression by Martin Luther King - Book Report/Review Example

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“Three Ways of Meeting Oppression” is a section from Martin Luther King’s book, Stride Toward Freedom, in which he presented the three ways people deal with oppression and argues clearly for what he considered as the right one, among the three choices presented…
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Three Ways of Meeting Oppression by Martin Luther King
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that organized in such a way to prove a main point or theory over others, the essay skillfully used both emotional and philosophical persuasive techniques to achieve its effect of rousing the Negroes to fight for their freedom and still maintain their dignity in the face of injustice. The first way in meeting oppression is through acquiescence in which a people would rather submit to oppression than deal with the terrors of freedom. To illustrate this kind of attitude, he gave the example of the Biblical account of the Jews who did not at first took to the exhortation of Moses to lead them towards freedom from their slavery in Egypt. The second one is through violence in which he wrote was not only impractical but also, immoral. Finally, the third choice, the use of non-violent resistance, in which he clearly advocated as the middle way between the first two choices presented. Martin Luther King uses mainly literary, anecdotal and philosophical supporting examples and arguments to present his case for advocacy of non-violent resistance. While mostly value statements (appeal to morality and religious values), rather than strict facts are used to prop up his theory or position, King presented his material in such a way that it is organized and progressively logical, where the first two ways of meeting oppression were systematically dealt with arguments that effectively destroyed their appeal to his intended audience, the Negroes and other peoples who would potentially rally or support their cause in having equal rights. The purpose of the piece is to provide a highly personal view of the situation that was facing the Negroes at a time when the blacks were feeling oppressed due to a racial segregation policy that made them politically and socially inferior to the white majority. While political and personal, King presented evidence for his position using philosophical, religious and literary examples, using inductive and deductive reasoning. In the first way of combating oppression, he cited a Biblical account, a literary authority, Shakespeare, and an anecdotal reference to show how acquiescence may be the easy way out, but not the right way to stand up to injustice. The piece belongs to social or political philosophy as can be gleaned for book’s title, Strive Toward Freedom. It uses religious and moral values, especially referring to Christian values to put forward a cause for freedom using non-violence resistance. Furthermore, he enlisted the philosophy of Hegel in which path of non-violent resistance is equated with the dialectics of history, one in which the extremes of passivity and violence paves the way for an active but nonviolent resistance to evil. The most significant conclusion that the author draws is that the fight for freedom is not a battle between the oppressed and the oppressor but a common fight against a system that fosters oppression and injustice. In this way, King successfully united all those who value freedom and justice, whatever race or social or political groups.
The strategy of the author is not strictly research-oriented as he uses selective examples to put forward his views and at times there is no clear reference (for example in the first way of meeting oppression, he uses the Bible and literary citation from Shakespeare, though it is not clear from which specific work it was cited from).Moreover, in his line “History is cluttered with the wreckage of nation that failed to follow this command”, there were no specific examples given to illustrate this point. Alternatives were given in the first and two ways of meeting oppression, but they were merely shown to support and further prop up the main theory of the piece.
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