Analysis Of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From A Birmingham Jail

841 Words4 Pages
In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. is responding to accusations made by eight Alabama clergymen. He asserts that his actions, and the actions of his followers were just and reasonable. He notes that the clergymen claimed he was acting too hastily but King explains that their actions were not hasty. He backs up his actions with persuasive argument and reasoning. He points out ways that others actions have been unjust and immoral. To get his point across, he distinguishes the difference between just and unjust laws. Furthermore, he was accused of being an extremist. This disturbed him at first then he reflected on all the extremists throughout history and he saw this description of him not necessarily bad. He noted extremists…show more content…
For example, King says, “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights” (2). King draws sympathy for his cause from the reader who sees the unjustness of the situation he and his followers are dealing with. No one should be restricted from rights and opportunities that others are given for that long. He also mentions emotional situations the readers probably can’t even imagine. For example, he writes “vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will, drown your sisters and brothers and hated filled policemen even kill your brothers and sisters” (3). A comment like this doesn’t leave the reader unmoved. He then goes on to reveal some of his more personal feelings. King demonstates this by saying, “In deep disappointment, I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love” (8). Kings letter is a response to those in the church who have critizied him, Yet, instead of apologizing, he stands strong for his cause and turns it around on them stating his own critisim. He is disappointed in te church and his disappointment is worse because he feels so strongly for the church, as is evident through his tears. Though disappointed, King still loves the church. However, he wishes that they would have lived up to his respect, and continues to hope that they will do so in the future. By showing his own emotions, King inspires compassion in the
Open Document