Martin Luther King demanded revolution and change in the attitude of general public with Negro community. He had same objective as Socrates; free the youth and leave the path of truth for the forth coming generation. King seems more aggressive in debating, in his letter which he wrote from Birmingham Jail, what wrong the laws brought for Negros and denounced injustice by justifying his actions in that regard. Socrates didn’t opt for direct action and only taught the youth about good, virtue and what is right. King on the other hand took actions to stop injustice. King: We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action… (Letter 1963)
Socrates created tension in minds of youth to be discerning about truth. King went on creating tension in the state.
King (relates his situation with Socrates): Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. (Letter 1963)
King Points out the demerits of the system and people who are part of it
King: While Mr. Boutwell is a much gentler person than Mr. Connor; they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. (Letter 1963)
King was fighting for civil rights whereas Socrates seemed to have been in intellectual fight. However, it will be right to suggest that the latent objective in both the personalities’ decision making was personal and intellectual growth of individuals.
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