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Letter From Birmingham Jail Analysis Essay

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Civil rights leader and social activist Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a world renown correspondence, Letter From Birmingham Jail, in April of 1963, during a time when segregation was at it’s peak in the South. When King was making his mark in American history, the United States was experiencing great social unrest due to the injustice towards their colored citizens, which would lead to social rights rallies and unnecessary violence. In response to King’s peaceful protesting, the white community viewed “[his] nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist,” and subsequently imprisoned the pastor (para 27). King specifically wrote to the white clergymen who had earlier addressed a letter to him as to why he was apprehended, in which they argued that his actions were untimely and unconstitutional. In response, King emphasized that justice is never timely, and the refusal to acknowledge equal rights was inhumane and regressive. Throughout the text, King utilized the values of his audience to gain sympathy and later on support. His use of diction and syntax would align his mission to God’s, and show that he was in the right and the clergymen were in the wrong. In his letter, King effectively used an extended periodic sentence that consisted of more than 300 words. The sentence has an extreme appeal to pathos, with such vivid imagery such…show more content…
He is composed, collective, and calm when writing his letter to the clergymen, and effectively used stirring diction and syntax to enlighten his audience on his mission towards racial justice that God Himself approves of. His letter is a testimonial to a black person’s life in America, where “we [black americans] creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter” (para 13). His letter was history in the making with every stroke of the pen. It truly showed that the pen is mightier than the the
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