On April 16th, 1963, after being thrown in jail for protesting segregation in the height of the American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist and pastor, in his letter entitled Letter from Birmingham City Jail, urges for social equality in America and justifies his use of nonviolent protest. He supports these claims by first stating his people will gain freedom because freedom is an American right as well as a God-given right, then explicates how the methods of law enforcement are unjust because any protection of segregation is immoral, and finally claims all of the people who have made sacrifices on the path to a segregation-free America will be the people to unify the country. Through King’s use of tone, …show more content…
King’s use of pathos helps him to advances his ideas. King is able to pull to his audience’s hearts by referring to the people who fight for desegregation as heroes. He states how these heroes “will be the James Merediths… old, oppressed, battered Negro women… young high school and college students, young ministers and… their elders” (King 4). King reminds his audience that there are many heroes in the world, and the heroes who fight for segregation will be young and old. King tells his audience they can be heroes, further developing King’s view of a socially free America. King also uses effective pathos by reminding his audience how “when (protesters) sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for the best in the American dream” (King 4). King paints the protesters as patriots taking America back to its roots as a free nation. Patriotism is essential too an absolute majority of Americans, and painting protesters as patriots not only convinces his audience to believe in King’s protesting, but it also allows for the audience to believe in the good of equality. King also uses logos to justify protest and social equality. King reminds his audience “if the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail” (King 1). King logically explains to …show more content…
King’s uses pronouns consciously in his letter to both distance himself from his critics and include himself with the rest of America. King addresses his main critics, law enforcement across America, by writing “they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of flagrant racial injustice” (King 3). King describes how the police are immoral in there protection of segregation. King also uses the pronoun ‘they’ to distance himself from his critics. By dissociating himself from the police, King implies he is moral rather than immoral, convincing King’s audience protest is justified against immoral people and social equality is moral rather than immoral. King also includes his audience in his letter, once stating “we will reach the goal of freedom” (King 1). King includes his audience in the idea of freedom for African Americans. He implies that freedom of King’s people is connected to the freedom of everyone just by using the pronoun ‘we’. King allows his audience to believe in a better future and also to connect with King’s people, unifying the country and promoting social equality. King not only uses pronouns to promote his thoughts, but he also uses repetition. King repeats the phrase “they will be the James Merediths… they will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women… they will be you high school and
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King wants the audience to remember that segregation is not okay and that in order for things to be different something “ can and will be changed.” King uses repetition to make his audience comprehend and listen to what he has to say. King instructs the audience to “go back” to the states and “go back” to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, as an example to spark their memory of our history and encourage them to take action. King also uses phrases such as “we can never be satisfied” and “we refuse to believe '' to show how America has wronged its people and must keep its promises in order for trust to be established. King repeated the phrase “now is the time” to show what he thinks America should be built on.
On April 16, 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. while confined in the Birmingham City Jail wrote a letter to the clergymen whom disapproved of his actions by calling him and other nonconformists “outsiders coming in”. During the civil rights movement the city of Birmingham was known to be one of the most segregated city in the United States. The City of Birmingham was known for its police brutality against blacks. They’re where also many unsolved cases such as bombing of homes and churches occupied by blacks. Kings letter was an opportunity for him to express the purpose behind the nonviolent campaign.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and Bessie Head’s “Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” are two literary examples that represent society’s struggle with racial inequality through the decades. As in Georgia Douglas Johnson’s poem, the main characters both fight for respect and equality despite “[having] seen as others saw their bubbles burst in air, [and having] learned to live it down as though they did not care.” Although difficult to embrace, tension is many times an important catalyst of lasting change, as evidenced in Head’s fictional narrative and Dr. King’s letter. “Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” may not bear similar genres, but they do share some common themes. In “Letter from a Birmingham
During the era of the civil rights movements in the 60s, among the segregation, racism, and injustice against the blacks, Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial to deliver one of the greatest public speeches for freedom in that decade. In Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech he effectively uses ethos, diction and powerful metaphors to express the brutality endured by African American people. Yet his most important method of reaching his audience, and conveying his enduring message of equality and freedom for the whole nation was his appeal to pathos. With these devices, King was able to move thousands of hearts and inspire the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Opening his speech Martin Luther King Jr. sets up his credibility with his use of ethos, referring to the Declaration of Independence saying, “This note was a promise that all men… would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life.”
Martin Luther King Jr. was an important figure in gaining civil rights throughout the 1960’s and he’s very deserving of that title as seen in both his “I Have a Dream” speech and his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” letter. In both of these writings Dr. King uses logos - logical persuasion - and pathos - emotional appeal - to change the opinions of people who were for segregation and against civil rights. Although King was arrested for a nonviolent protest, he still found a way to justify his actions with the use of logos and pathos. MLK uses both ways to gain the attention and agreement of the audience but, he uses pathos not just more, but in a more relatable way in order to appeal to his audience.
Dr. Kings “I Have a Dream” speech shows powerful examples of logos and pathos. His effectiveness relies heavily on his usage of these two ways to explain the pain and suffering of segregation. By him capturing his true life’s reality through pity and credible sources allows him to become successful in attempting to end the racism crisis. King states that, “when our republic was writing the Declaration of Independence, they were making a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the ‘unalienable rights’ of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Logos is the prime example of King using this event of writing the Declaration of Independence.
In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. led a peaceful movement in Birmingham, Alabama. The purpose of the demonstration was to bring awareness and end to racial disparity in Birmingham. Later that night, King and his followers were detained by city authorities. While in custody, King wrote the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” This letter voiced out his disappointment in the criticisms, and oppositions that the general public and clergy peers obtained.
During a time of violence, segregation, and racism, few people had the courage to speak out against it. Few people had the bravery to go against what the masses believed, and fewer had the authority to do so. One of these few people was Martin Luther King Jr. and one of the ways in which he spoke out was through a letter written while imprisoned. King was imprisoned by Bull Connor, a police chief in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960’s for not having a license to parade or protest. While in jail, King received a letter written by eight Alabama clergymen who pleaded for African Americans to stop protesting and wait for segregation to happen on its own.
In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. was sent to jail because of a peaceful protest, protesting treatments of blacks in Birmingham. Before the protest a court ordered that protests couldn’t be held in Birmingham. While being held in Birmingham, King wrote what came to be known as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Not even King himself could predict how much of an impact this letter would have on the Civil Rights Movement. In the letter kind defended Kings beliefs on Nonviolent Protests, King also counters the accusations of him breaking laws by categorizing segregation laws into just and unjust laws. King uses this principle to help persuade others to join him in his acts of civil disobedience.
“...when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”- then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.” (MLK, 276). King uses this strong sense of appeal to emotion to engross his readers and let them know how hard it is for them.
We live in a world with currently many conflicts from the racial disparity in high incarceration rates to gun violence and the war over gun rights. In his letter, King describes that Black Americans have no identity and that the oppressed cannot remain oppressed forever. King implies that they cannot be told to “wait for justice” because if they simply
Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong leader in the Civil Rights movement, the son and grandson of a minister, and one heck of a letter writer. As he sits in a cell of Birmingham Jail in 1963, he responds to criticism from eight white clergymen. Though this letter was intended for the judgemental and condescending men of high faith, his response touched the hearts and minds of the entire U.S. population, then, and for years to come. In his tear-jerking, mind-opening letter, King manages to completely discredit every claim made by the clergymen while keeping a polite and formal tone. Metaphors, allusions, and rhetorical questions are used in the most skillful way to support his argument and ultimately convince his audience of the credibility behind his emotional, yet factual, claims.
King’s dialect showed the audience civil right issues, involving many rhetorical strategies using ethos, logos, and pathos, to a racially tempered crowd whom he viewed as different, but not equal. From the very beginning of it , King brings his crowd back to the origin of America when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, that freed all slaves and gave hope to the former slaves. But immediately after Dr. King speaks out on how after 100 years Blacks still do not have the free will that is deserved. He points out the irony of America because Black Americans were still not truly free.
This reference in particular evokes the strongest emotional response from black people because many African Americans revered Lincoln for his decision to sign the revolutionary Emancipation Proclamation, and how the document symbolized a free future for slaves--the ancestors of the blacks in the crowd. But the next few lines following this allusion also persuades those ignorant of how little things have changed by highlighting the “manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination” that blacks still suffer from despite the hundred year gap. Here, he uses the connotations of “manacles” and “chains” to evoke a negative emotional response from the audience, especially from those unaware of the need to change, causing their opinion to match the speaker’s: against segregation. Additionally, King weaves biblical allusions into his speech to appeal to the Christians within the crowd. He uses the “dark and desolate valley of segregation” to illustrate the injustice African Americans have endured for centuries and juxtapositions it with the “sunlit path of racial justice” to exemplify a future where true freedom exists for