Social Issues Paper


In this world one can look back on literature and see how it influenced society and the way that we think. There are a countless amount of great influential writers that we can find when we look back into history.


In Plato’s Last Days of Socrates one can learn about the wonderful philosopher Socrates. The author Plato was a poor teacher that did not get paid. He believed that truth was untamable. He is often considered to be the father of logic. Plato helped us to learn that Socrates was a brilliant many with many great ideas. Socrates did not care about wealth; he got his money from help of his friends. Some people loved Socrates but some also hated him. He taught many young boys his ideas but according to the fetal landlords, he was corrupting the youth and was charged for that offence. Socrates believed in gods but not the same god’s that the state believed in.


Socrates was told that he was the wisest man alive. He does not know if this statement is true so he decides that he will research who he thought was wise. He questioned three groups of people, the politicians, poets, and the craftsmen. He discovers that they are just appearing to be wise and that they do not really hold that characteristic. He came to the conclusion that since they are not wise that he must be the wisest person in the world.


When Socrates is found guilty for corrupting the youth he is sentenced to death. He says that he is not afraid of death because it could be good. He thought that he might be able to teach the great heroes in the afterlife. The accusers actually did not want to kill him. They thought that he would run away and not show up in court. Socrates did not run away because he thought that running would make it seem like he was guilty, and he was not.


Before Socrates is executed he has the chance to make one last speech. He thanked the ones who voted for him and told them not to feel sorry for him. The told the ones that voted against him, “with your vote you have harmed yourself. You’ve become enemies of speech and thought.” He wanted everyone to know that the worthwhile gods are not money and reputation but truth and beauty, wisdom and goodness.


This book taught me that it is wonderful to stand up for yourself, and what you believe. Socrates did not let anyone get the best of him. He continued to teach until he was put to death.


Another piece of work that is extremely important in history is Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letters from a Birmingham Jail. This letter was written by Dr. King and was address to eight clergymen. He made many wonderful points. His writing style was so wonderful. This letter proved that he was a brilliant, and intelligent man. Just like Socrates we see that Dr. King is also a social gadfly. He was called an extreamist, which he did not agree with. He was also accused of being an outsider educator. He knew that there was a good chance that he was going to be killed. He still continued to preach because he knew that he could make a difference. He knew that this world could not go the way that is was going. There had to be a change for the better. He wanted everyone to be equal. He said, “it’s not how long you live, but how you live.”