Historical And Biblical Allusions In Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail

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JoAnna Guzman AP English Period 4 Mrs. Solis 5 February 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. letter “ Letter from Birmingham Jail” was a response to eight Alabama clergymen of 1963. The clergymen had accused King of being an “outsider” and interfering with the racial issues of the community of Birmingham. When writing in response to the eight clergymen from Alabama Martin Luther King Jr. uses the rhetorical device of historical and biblical allusions.The use of the historical and biblical allusions/ references being used is to help build a standard ground for his audiences and the clergymen; it also helps make his letter more effective. King 's letter uses biblical allusions to create analogies between…show more content…
On page 285 King says, “Supreme Court 's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws” King’s allusion reinforces the facts of his argument by directing the critical event of the decision made in 1954. It shows that the decisions that are being made are not helping the problem that Birmingham has, it is only making the segregation problems worse. It’s efficient because it shows that the courts have been making laws that are what the called just but, in reality, they are anything, but just they are unjust laws that shouldn’t be…show more content…
does use historical and biblical allusions through out his whole letter, there are two allusions that really stand out. On page 289 paragraph 31 Martin Luther King Jr. is referring to the clergymen letter of calling himself an “extremist” King proclaims “ But although I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist.........Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “your enemies, bless the, that cure you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use and persecute you”. In this biblical allusions Marting Luther King Jr. talks about God being an extremist he does this because does it not just create common ground for everyone who knows those are Gods words but is use effectively to his power. When Marting Luther King calls God an extremist he goes on saying “ the question is not whether we will be an extremist, but what kind of extremist” these two follow after one another because some not all people think it is insane to love your enemies, to bless them because they are bringing you down but people go by it because it is the right thing to do so with that being said Martin Luther King Jr. is claiming he might be considered an “extremist” now for doing something out of the ordinary but soon his “extreme” actions will no longer be considered “extreme”but will be considered doing something good. A historical allusion King uses is on page 286 paragraph 16 Martin Luther King Jr. states
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