King's Rhetoric In The Letter Of Birmingham Jail

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King uses rhetoric in The Letter of Birmingham Jail to advance his purpose powerfully. King writes this letter as a response to the eight clergymen that indirectly target his actions and state false accusations. These eight clergymen do not understand the rationale King advocates throughout his non-violent protests, therefore King retaliates by writing a letter. This letter uses rational tone throughout to get these eight men and even more so the public to understand the purpose of his activist movements. Firstly, King opens up his letter to a great amount of ethos. Credibility in a speaker is a huge step of rhetoric to have, since an audience needs to notice that the speaker knows what they are talking about. If a speaker can not prove to …show more content…

King uses pathos to trigger the emotions of his readers to understand the emotional trauma he and his people are going through. In his letter King expresses how he and his people go through tragic events, as he states how “[one’s] first name becomes “nigger,” [and one’s] middle name becomes “boy” (however old [he is],)” or how the police force let “its dogs [sink] their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes.” This shows traumatic emotional trauma in the reader as the reader realizes how horrible people like King have it in their segregated society. This also persuades the reader in believing in what he is saying due to the realization to how disturbing a colored life may be. Yet, King also uses pathos to inspire the people reading. After he explains how badly his people were treated, his pathos rhetoric fades for a little bit as later in the letter he builds it up from sadness to a tone of hopefulness. King uses inspirational phrases such as, “something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained.” This phrase shows how after all the brutality one goes through due to segregation, one still remains to fight for he rightfully deserves. With such determination and the power for these people to keep on fighting for what they should be rightfully given gives the reader a burst of passion and inspiration which may influence one to see from the point of view of

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