Diction In Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail addresses his fellow clergymen and others who critiqued him for his actions during this time. The clergymen along with others are addressed in an assertive tone allowing them to fully understand why his actions are justified. Throughout the letter critics are disproved through King’s effective use of diction and selection of detail. Martin Luther King opens the letter stating that the clergymen are being “influenced by the argument of ‘outsiders coming in” consequently he explains the reason for him being in Birmingham. In the opening of his explanation he states the injustices occurring, relating it to the prophets of eighth century B.C. This selection of detail allows the clergymen to view …show more content…

The authors use of words such as “dark clouds of racial prejudice” and “I cannot sit idly by” shows the injustice that was occurring in Birmingham. The “dark clouds” represent the social climate of Birmingham, allowing readers to see the negative effect it his having on the black citizens. He believed the injustice needed to be addressed and action needed to be taken against it, therefore what he did was justified. Additionally when Martin Luther King writes, “nagging signs reading ‘white’ men and colored when your first name becomes ‘nigger’ and your wife and mother are never given the respected title of Mrs…” This further demonstrates the unjust treatment of African Americans which is why someone needed to take action and not idly sit by as these things occcurred. The writer’s meticulous use of selection of detail, diction and deductive reasoning allows the reader to further understand the events that occurred along with the effects it had on the community as a whole. Those who disagreed with his actions were disproved through these rhetorical devices, allowing them to comprehend his reasoning for his behavior in Birmingham. Overall Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham jail is

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