Letter From Birmingham Jail Questions

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Chen 1
Bradley Chen
APLAC/Fifth Period
24 January 2016
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” Questions
King introduces his letter with a tone of impatience, irony, and sarcasm. King has a tone of irony towards the questions of the clergy. In the first paragraph, King says “If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day.” With this paragraph, one can detect the underlying sarcasm throughout the letter. In addition, King believes that the clergymen that he is addressing are “men of genuine good will” and King responds in “patient and reasonable terms.” It can be argued that King speaks in a condescending manner to the clergyman throughout the letter, as one usually speaks to children in a patient and understanding manner.
Since King is a devout Christian and a Christian leader, he constantly references the Bible to show his expertise and to establish his authority. He uses the quote “an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law” said by Saint Thomas Aquinas to explain the difference between an unjust law and a just law and also because Saint
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“Was not… Was not… Was not… And… And… And… Will we be… Will we be…” Allusions: Multiple important Christian figures such as Jesus, Martin Luther, and John Bunyan are referenced. All of these strategies are used in order to draw more attention towards King’s
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