An Examination of Luther’s and Novik’s Works

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The essay Love, Law, and Civil Disobedience is a speech by Martin Luther that describes the intellectual positions of black student movements battling racism and racial segregation. The speech concentrated on the interests of black students who were refused opportunities that white students had. The speech ushered in a modern kind of social campaign centered on nonviolence and moral principles. On the other hand, Naomi Novik’s novel Uprooted is a fictional mythological tale about a child named Agnieszka who was selected as a sacrifice for a wizard named Sarkan. Sarkan chose to defend the small village of Dvernik in return for a child. Both works are similar since they revolve on the actions of fighting for freedom, and both use their main characters as the heroes to provide a revolutionary change to their society. However, both works differ in that one is a non-fictional speech, rather than a fictional material and Luther uses a non-violence approach, while uprooted uses violence to redeem their freedom.

Similarity of the two works

Both authors revolve around the theme of freedom and oppression to develop their main agenda or plot of the story. Luther addresses the issues of oppression facing black students in schools in America such as racial segregation and restriction to privileges. Luther urges the Americans to eliminate such boundaries through peaceful civil demonstration. In the article, Luther indicates that ‘Now we must say that this struggle for freedom will not come to an automatic halt, for history reveals to us that once oppressed people rise against that oppression, there is no stopping-point short of full freedom (Luther, 1).” In this concept, Luther demonstrates the new strength that the oppressed black people have gained in fighting for their rights, which will not stop until their freedom is guaranteed. This theme of freedom relates to Novik’s story where Agnieszka and Sarkan decide to fight the monsters in the woods to bring an end the oppressions of the village (Novik, 139). After saving Kasia from the woods, the Sarkan chooses to fight the powers of the monsters to obtain their freedom. Therefore, both articles address the oppression that the society received and their verge of gaining freedom.

Both works reveal the use of the main antagonist as the heroes to save their society. Martin Luther has been acknowledged for his heroic actions of revolutionizing the American society through the elimination of the disparity between the blacks and the whites. In his speech, his ideological decision to conduct civil demonstrations through non-violent means proves his dedication to ending these challenges (Luther, 2). On the other hand, Novik also uses the main antagonist Agnieszka as the hero of her village. She was picked by the Sarkan and became unique from other previously chosen girls (Novik, 13). She still maintains her attachment with her village, and after learning the magic powers, she goes to save her village from the woods. Therefore, both Luther and Agnieszka became the savior of their society through their brave choices.

Contrast between the two works

The article by Martin Luther is a non-fictional speech addressing the issues of the society, while the book uprooted is a fictional story that involves literacy works of imagination and engages supernatural powers. It is impossible to make an analysis of two literary works that differ in genres. The use of a fictional story with mythical characters in uprooted entertains a particular audience and does not illustrate real societal issues (Novik, 2). However, Martin Luther’s speech is a realistic work that addresses the real problems facing the black students (Luther, 1). In addition, the speech is based on facts, while the story is an imaginative literary work. Therefore, the fact that one is fictional and the other is non-fictional means that they differ in genre and conducting a factual analysis on the two may be difficult.

Luther advocates the use of non-violence to gain freedom, while Novik prefers violence to gain peace. Based on the speech, Luther indicates that ‘there is another was of nonviolent resistant (Luther, 3).’ Luther acknowledged that the violence between the whites and the blacks would only lead to more societal problems. Furthermore, the use of violence will endanger the future generation since it will impose bitterness and hatred. This concept differs with Novik’s work, who engages physical and magical war to gain freedom. Based on the article, Queen Hannah was saved violently from the monsters in the woods, and her freedom caused a situational war that killed more than six thousand soldiers (Novik, 219). The Sarkan was a powerful creature that had the ability to fight the monsters from attacking the villagers. Therefore, we can analyze that the violence, which did not apply to Luther, was a means to an end in the story by Novik.

In conclusion, the two works by Luther and Novik provide content that is similar and still differ from each other. Both works illustrate the theme of oppression and freedom and both engage the antagonist as the heroic persona to bring a societal revolution. In contrast, the first is a non-fictional speech while the other is a fictional literacy work. In addition, Luther advocates a non-violent approach while Novik reveals actions of violence.

Works Cited

Luther, Martin. “Love, Law, and Civil Disobedience.” 16 Nov. 1961,

Novik, Naomi. Uprooted. 2015.

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