Letter From Birmingham Jail

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The Letter from Birmingham Jail and the I have a Dream Speech, both written by Martin Luther King Jr., explain the same message to people in two different ways. The Letter from Birmingham Jail was to write a letter to defend the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. He wrote this because he wants African Americans to come together and peacefully protest the unjust laws that are in place. On the other hand, his speech was to a large group of citizens, black and white, fighting for freedom, equality, justice and love. He used many rhetorical devices in his speech and letter that compared the two, and to show the differences in a clear way. In Martin Luther King jr’s speech, I have a Dream, he uses many examples of antithesis, analogies, …show more content…

King’s, Letter From Birmingham Jail defended the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. He wrote the letter to respond to the criticism from eight white clergymen. Similarly, he uses many of the same rhetorical devices that he uses in his speech, which are antithesis, analogies, and a repetition of words and phrases. Just like his speech, King also uses a variety of antithesis in his letter from Birmingham Jail. One of the examples of an antithesis from King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail is “ This Nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” Another example is “ Will we be extremists for hate or for love?” These examples are also showing a way of King wanting to get his readers attention by using two things to compare. He wants the reader to feel some kind of way about his letter and what he feels is right. In the second example of antithesis, he wants readers to think about options, for hate or for love, and he does that by asking a rhetorical question and putting two sides to it. There are also examples of analogies, just like in his speech. An example from his letter that he used was he compared his situation he had with injustice and compared it to Apostle Paul. Not everyone knows the story of Apostle Paul, but he tried to connect with that since it was in comparison. Lastly, he used repetition in his letter to show an emphasis on a change that he wanted to happen. In his letter he continually used the word “when” especially in one of his

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