Compare And Contrast Letter From Birmingham Jail And Baldwin's Writing

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From the characteristics of an author’s writing, the reader can tell whether the author’s piece is effective. Despite how long ago they were made, Martin Luther King Jr.’s response to criticism from some clergymen in “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and James Baldwin's “If Black English Isn't A Language, Then Tell Me What Is” on the role of language, remain important pieces of writing today because they still relate to the ongoing internal separation between races in America. Their long time recognition has their writing being compared to give readers with insight on how to develop their own argument successfully. King’s essay is more effective than Baldwin’s because of their different style, character, and vocabulary. King’s style of writing …show more content…

A perfect example of this is when he says, “...let it all hang out and right on! Beat to his socks which was once the black's most total and despairing image of poverty, was transformed into a thing called the Beat Generation...”(132). Although this line is perfect evidence for Baldwin’s argument, simply stating facts does not resonate with the reader. If Baldwin had used more words to trigger an emotional response, as King had done, then he would have been able to receive the reader’s interest and sensitivity toward his viewpoint. Although Baldwin gives valid and reasonable information, the reader is not as compelled to agree with his argument in the way that they do when reading King’s letter since he is not successful in capturing and keeping the reader’s …show more content…

King uses words that show him as inviting. A few of the words he uses that show this character are, “you”(342), “hopes”(343), “tension”(343), and “disappointment”(350). In a way, these words are passive, however, the context in which King chooses to use them gives these words more force to get his point across. King’s choice of words basically tells the audience to converse about the topic because he is open to the opposing side’s argument and will not write it off. Words like these used this show King’s effectiveness because the reader feels like they are being invited to have a civil

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