Martin Luther King Jr. in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” addresses criticism from clergymen. King expresses his belief that his actions during the Human Right Movement were not “untimely,” and that he is not an “outsider.”(1) King’s purpose is to inform them of his reason for being there and why he believes that although there may never be a proper time to change society, he is tired of it happening to his people. He adopts an optimistic tone in hopes that he can convince the people of Birmingham to give everyone their Human Rights that they deserve. By appealing to the mass population, King can effectively communicate to his argument by emphasizing his validation for being in Birmingham, the need for justice, and his peaceful movement.
Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a letter to eight white clergymen while he’s sitting in a jail cell, the result of a protest in Birmingham, Alabama that King, a Georgian, traveled to attend. Due to the criticisms of the clergymen, he commences his letter by explaining why he needed to come to Birmingham. King states that he was there for a multitude of reasons, the first being that he had organizational ties to Birmingham, the second being that he was there because there was injustice in Birmingham. He states that as a citizen of America, injustice in Birmingham is not removed from justice anywhere else because everything is interrelated, and that injustice
Both Thoreau and King rely heavily on ethos to get their points across. The intended audience of both is similar; a group of people with similar morals as the writers, but who have neglected action for various reasons. King also appeals to pathos, describing the plight of the colored man vividly. King’s audience is largely aware of this situation already, but he uses it to drive them to action rather than simple awareness. On the other hand, Thoreau appeals little to pathos, focusing instead on logic and ethics.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which is an organization operating in every Southern state with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. He came to Birmingham, Alabama because injustice lies there and helped protest about it in a nonviolent demonstration against racial discrimination. The eight clergymen of the South did not approve of these demonstrations happening which caused Dr. King to be confined in Birmingham Jail cell, writing a letter to them men explaining on why he was in Birmingham and what his reasons were for these protests. He begins to talk about and explain the four basic steps that needed to be followed for any nonviolent campaign. He also gives the audience a better understanding by giving a visual glimpse of what the black community had to endure.
In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. writes about the issue of waiting for justice and God given rights for African Americans, the need for a good faith negotiation quickly, and using the strategy of a non-violent campaign and protest to achieve it all. His initial reasoning for writing these letters was to answer the sincere criticism he had received from a fellow clergymen in hopes to bring about a negotiation of peace. Dr. King hoped to shed light on the reasoning be hide the protesting and explain why the protesting needed to take place and at such an “untimely” time. He also yearned to shed light on the racism that had engulfed the nation and the ugly record of brutality that African Americans had suffered in the past and at that moment currently. His letters brought to light the injustice of the past and persuaded the clergymen to finally grant African Americans the Constitutional rights and the respect they deserved.
In Self-Reliance Emerson’s prison is a figurative allusion of the conformity of society. In Thoreau’s Resistance to Civil Government Thoreau literally gets placed into prison. However, in Thoreau’s text prison is correspondingly a metaphor for society and its continued conformity. In both texts the writer’s persuasive tone beseeches the reader to not consent to the social-contracts of society. In Emerson’s Self-Reliance and Thoreau’s Resistance to Civil Government prison is a symbol of being confined in a society that does not accept individualism, but rather accepts and requires the majority and conformism of all citizens and men.
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King defends the protestors’ thirst for justice by demonstrating the unjust society they live in. Over fifty years after the letter was written, it is still read today. Often times it gives people a sense of identity. However this letter gives me more than an identity. This letter gives me reason and motivation to always fight for a just society. 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
In my opinion Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. have very similar purposes in their writings. Both author 's are writing to protest unfair laws. But they also have very different audiences.
Amidst the intense Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and put in solitary confinement for peacefully protesting racial discrimination and injustice in Birmingham, Alabama. It was during this time that Dr. King, refusing to sit idly by, wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” one of the most inspiring documents in history. With his respectful nature, humility, compassion, optimism, and determination, King responded to a group of white Alabama clergymen who had condemned the civil rights protests as extreme in their open letter, “A Call for Unity.” Although his letter was directed towards a small group of eight men, his words eventually reached the minds and hearts of the entire country. Throughout the letter, Dr. King does a tremendous job of supporting his argument with the three elements of Aristotle’s rhetorical appeal. He ended up creating a very persuasive letter, one that effectively uses ethos in establishing his character, logos in providing reason and logic, and pathos in reaching human emotions.
King and Thoreau both use ethos to make their arguments seem credible. At the beginning of “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” King announces he is “president of the Southern
Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”, published in 1849, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, published in 1963, have profound similarities while still having underlying differences.
In the eyes of Martin Luther King Jr., Justice within a society is achieved through the implementation of just laws. Furthermore, “just laws are regulations that have been created by man that follow the laws of God for man” (“Clergymen’s Letter”). Any law that does not correspond with the ideals of God and morality are considered to be unjust or a form of injustice. King identifies that injustice is clearly evident within the justice system. This injustice can truly be seen through the misconduct imposed toward the African American community. Michelle Alexander, similarly, points out the same truth that African American men are targeted substantially by the criminal justice system due to the long history leading to racial bias and mass incarceration within her text “The New Jim Crow”. Both Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Michelle Alexander’s text exhibit the brutality and social injustice that the African American community experiences, which ultimately expedites the mass incarceration of African American men, reflecting the current flawed prison system in the U.S.
Throughout history there have been many political changes that are either supported, or not, by citizens. In the given passage from, "Civil Disobedience," by Thoreau, a perspective of disagreeing with the government ways, is provided. Thoreau explains how a government should be in comparison to how it really is by utilizing his words to set the tone and mode, imagery to achieve his audience's understanding, and diction to make his writing scholarly.
Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is a dissertation written by American abolitionist, author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau published by Elizabeth Peabody in the Aesthetic Papers in 1849. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was born and lived almost his life in Concord, Massachusetts. After finishing public and private school in Concord he attended the prestige Harvard University. He excelled at Harvard despite leaving school for several months due to health and financial setbacks. Mr. Thoreau graduated in the top half of his class in 1837. Mr. Thoreau argues that people should not allow any government to control or atrophy their thoughts or beliefs. Mr. Thoreau was an also remained a devoted abolitionist and has written
Peaceful resistance to laws positively affect a free society. Throughout history, there have been multiple cases of both violent and peaceful protests. However, the peaceful protests are the ones that tend to stick with a society and are the ones that change the society for the better.