Letter From Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Devices

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In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream” speech he uses many different rhetorical devices. He uses rhetorical devices such as repetition, analogy, and rhetorical questions. In each writing, he uses the devices for many different purposes. These purposes can be similar, or different. In short, Martin Luther King Jr. includes rhetorical devices in his writing.
In a “Letter From Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King Jr. uses rhetorical devices. For example, MLK uses repetition in his letter. In paragraph 31, he repeats the word “extremists” several times to redefine the word so it's less negative. MLK also uses an analogy in his letter, by comparing himself to the Apostle Paul. MLK states in paragraph 3, “...just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.” King uses an analogy to give his audience an idea of what he is doing when fighting for civil rights. Lastly, King uses a rhetorical question in his letter. He asks the question on page 278 in paragraph 24, “But is this a logical assertion?” MLK uses this question to make his
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In paragraphs 16-24 he repeats the phrase “I have a dream.” This is an example of repetition. MLK also uses analogy in his speech in paragraph 4. In the text, King compares American civil rights to cashing a bad check. King compares the two to show how worthless the promise of African Americans civil rights is. Unlike King’s letter, he does not use a rhetorical question in his speech. This is because it is a speech and he wants his audience to have an emotional appeal, rather that a logical appeal. He wants to have an emotional appeal becauses he is trying to push his audience to fight for civil rights. Martin Luther King Jr. uses rhetorical devices in his
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