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Justice and Ethical Responsibilities - Book Report/Review Example

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Justice and Ethical Responsibilities

Oliver's poem argues for the importance of fulfilling the ethical responsibility to preserve the ancestors' work, and that such a familial obligation outweigh monetary benefits. The narrator feels the need to fulfill such a responsibility because she is connected to her ancestors and it would be unjust for her to forgo the effort of them just for an economic gain. The subject matter on Cochise's speech, on the other hand, is more similar to that of King's as Cochise is fighting for freedom for the Apaches and their right for self-determination. Similar to King, Cochise rhetoric strongly demonstrates his sense of unity with his people although he has fought in bloody struggles, at the end he too wants to make peace like King, provided that the oppressors would relinquish their absolute authority. This paper will demonstrate respectively how these four pieces of literature demonstrate the relationship between unity, interconnectedness, and social justice and ethical responsibilities.
Early in the fourth paragraph of "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," King explicitly reminds the readers of "the interrelatedness of all communities and states." He then wrote down two famous sentences to illustrate this phenomenon: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," and "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." These lines call for the involvement of all citizens in America, including both Negroes and Whites. Such a strong rhetoric arouse a sense of responsibility in the readers because as King emphasizes, "we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny." After speaking politically for his rationale of civil disobedience, King again draws on the sense of unity among African Americans who are oppressed by the white power structure. He brings the injustice to a personal level by directly speaking to the readers and using words like "your mothers and fathers," "your sisters and brothers," and "your six year-old daughter." In that same paragraph, King vividly describes the injustice inflicts upon African Americans in everyday life. This helps create a strong bond among the Negroes even though as King mentions later, some of them are complacent to the segregation. In addition, King also appeals to his white readers by arousing their empathy with descriptions of the atrocities committed by the police against law abiding African Americans. At this point, King is directly speaking to the white readers and asking what they would think of their police department if they were to observe the violence done unto African Americans unjustly. Through such an emotionally powerful rhetoric, King is able to demonstrate that the injustice is a painful experience even from the white Americans' standpoint. This helps unite all American citizens regardless of skin color as they would both have a similar reaction when they witness or experience such atrocities. Thus, it becomes the ethical responsibility of all to help eradicate the segregation policy and other forms of oppression in the society.
Throughout the whole letter, King ...Show more


The four pieces of literature all foster a sense of unity and interconnectedness in order to reinforce justice and to encourage people to fulfill their ethical responsibilities. In "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and President Kennedy's Inaugural Address, they both draw on religious references of God's love to everyone in America in order to argue for freedom and liberty for all regardless of their differences in race and socioeconomic status as God's love unite all of them…
Author : miller41
Justice and Ethical Responsibilities essay example
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