How Is The Letter From Birmingham Jail Similar To Martin Luther King

1206 Words5 Pages

What does a philosopher and a civil rights leader have in common? Well, in the cases of Peter Singer and Martin Luther King Jr, they both wrote compelling arguments in order to further their causes. When King wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in 1963 he was in jail due to his civil rights protests in Birmingham, Alabama while, in 1999, Singer wrote his argumentative essay “The Singer Solution To World Poverty” against starvation overseas. Although their arguments and environments are very different from each other, their use of ethos, writing style and how they talk to their audiences are very similar to each other and a lot could be learned from observing how these two brilliant authors used these elements. In the end, the main goal …show more content…

The way that King spoke to the clergymen of the town spoke volumes about the strength of his resolve because, even though he wasn’t getting the support that he needed, King didn’t respond in a violent manner. One clear instance of this is at the very beginning of his letter when he states “my dear fellow clergymen”, showing how he has no ill will towards them and that he still wants their support (King 563). Even though King still wanted support from the local churches and treated them with the respect that they deserved he wanted supporters that were certain to help, so he chastised them in order to assure that their support would be definitive. This is shown when King talks about the inactivity of the local churches against the problems in their communities and that they should be more active (564). As King talks to his audience he gets them involved in the conversation and conveys the feeling of …show more content…

Throughout King’s letter he influences the morals of the local clergymen in order to gain the support that is needed in order to change the city for the better. A good example of the clergymen’s ethics being questioned is when King states how the support of the white moderate is crucial to the success of his movement but, due to their lack of aid, the cause had stalled (569). The main goal of the movement was to prove that segregation was unethical and that, even if it wasn’t supported in public, ignoring the problem was even worse than accepting it. If the public remained indecisive and kept ignoring the state of affairs that was in front of them, then nothing would change and the cycle of inequality would just continue even longer. For King to succeed in his mission for equality, he needed to convince as many people as possible that his cause was just and that it would benefit everyone in the long

Open Document