Martin Luther King wrote his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail," in response to a public statement of concern and caution issued by eight religious leaders of the South. The statement "A Call For Unity", implored Dr. King and his "outsiders" to obey the law and wait for integration to naturally come out of the courts. King responded with his Letter from Birmingham Jail, voicing his disappointment in the white clergy, who should be "among our strongest allies". This was the persuasive power of King’s writing, an epitome of the art of rhetoric. His letter used the three rhetorical appeals ethos, pathos, and logos, while also utilizing the literary device of kairos in an attempt to explain his actions and change the opinions of his audience.
Essay #2: Argumentative Analysis Martin Luther King Jr. introduced a very controversial argument about why he believed that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”(264). In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” King stated that justice is never given by the oppressor and the reason why his protests were very relevant and wise was because the issues needed to be addressed right then and not later. Moving along throughout his entire letter his primary thesis seemed to be that if the people wanted to be free from racial injustice they needed to participate in nonviolent protests. Given his setting and atmosphere, MLK did an extremely impressive job of using kairos and other rhetorical techniques in his piece.
The essays, Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin and Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King contain many similarities as well as differences. Even though they were both written during the same time period(WHAT TIME PERIOD) you will notice that Kings Letter From Birmingham
Lord was a nonentity for the Civil Rights Movement. Lord's capacity to sort out groups into a drive that was unaffected by roughness extraordinarily added to the accomplishment of the Civil Rights Movement. In a letter he composed from a Birmingham correctional facility, King depicts the four stages to peaceful challenge. The principal step is "gathering of the actualities to figure out if a bad form exists. "i
It states that “ justice stubbed her big toe on mandela” meaning that Mandela [Nelson Mandela] was an object that was there but we all know that stubbing your toe doesn't stop you from continuing to walk and that's what justice did it continued its path of destruction moving on blindly. Tupac also states “slavery was the learning phase / forgotten with out a verdict/ while justice is still on a rampage/ 4 endangering surviving black males” Slavery was made illegal in the United States with no reparation taken. Tupac says there are no verdicts on slavery, meaning justice has not been served for the 400 years of imprisonment suffered by black people. Also in this quote it makes you picture justice as being some type of predator out hunting for the black males. Tupac also says that surviving black males are endangered.
King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. With a tone remains polite, respectful, even almost apologetic, and friendly, this letter was written in response to a claim made by eight white clergymen criticizing the actions and ideas of Dr. King and his group as unwise and wrong. According to S. Jonathan Bass argued, “the letter served as a tangible, reproducible account of the long road to freedom in a movement that was largely centered around actions and spoken words” (Bass). Beginning the letter with a greeting sentence “My dear fellow clergymen”, Dr. King explains the reasons his presence as well as his uses of nonviolence and direct action in Birmingham. When King says: “I am here because I was invited here.
Including this example, “now is the time to make real the promise of democracy, and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood.” Moving on, when King used convincing examples, he made the church and every reader in the following years acknowledge that something had to be done. King describes negative effects that segregation still has with usage of convincing examples. Additionally, Martin Luther King also uses many examples of figurative language to persuade viewer’s opinions of his cause. His metaphors and similes bring importance to his letter because they describe an inside look and feel on the effects of unequal rights that the church and readers have not ever seen before.
Martin Luther King Jr. mentions his own kids and their personal experiences, along with his experiences to show that he knows what he is talking about because he has in fact experienced all the injustices. King is also calm which appeals to his calm nature and showing no harm with fighting for civil rights and equality with the use of nonviolence which he addresses in his letter (In any nonviolent Campaign there are four basic steps…)(1).
Another one of the stylist technique King Jr. uses was sentence structure. Sentence Structure changes a speech by a choice of language, style, and tone. Throughout the speech King Jr. used short pause between words and paragraphs. For example, In paragraphs 13-20, he said “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its
Ty’ Keylah White Ms. Edwina Mosby English Composition I October 31, 2017 Rhetorical Analysis: Letter from Birmingham Jail Summary/Assessment: In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is responding to a few white religious leaders who stated that his nonviolent reveal against segregation was “unwise and untimely” (1). Dr. King had to be really upset at the clergymen because he rarely acknowledges criticism of his work. He states that since they brought up “outsiders coming in”, meaning that they went to the city of Birmingham to start a conflict.
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.
Compelling Craft The craft of using words to create a mood or an atmosphere takes great skill to make an audience understand and feel the cause a writer is fighting for. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist from the 1950’s to the 1960’s, wrote Letter from Birmingham Jail. In his letter he made a compelling argument to a group of clergymen, who questioned his quest. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his compelling argument using pathos, ethos, and Kairos by utilizing personal experiences, expressing a moral obligation to help, and his timely involvement for direct action.
Martin Luther King’s utilization of pathos and rhetorical questions in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” allows him to adequately advocate for civil rights for African Americans. MLK’s convincing use of pathos is shown in paragraph 23, where he wrote, “If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail.” This quote was intended to make the white bishops who he was responding to feel guilty, as slavery was perpetrated by some of their ancestors. Furthermore, this quote shows the general enthusiasm of African Americans and affiliates to push for the repealing of unfair laws of segregation. This is shown by African Americans being able to persevere through slavery and that segregationist laws
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” (King, Jr.). Martin Luther King Jr. exceeded this “measure of a man” during his civil rights acts as a strong soldier in a very volatile time. During this time of “challenge and controversy” King made himself heard in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. In some of his civil rights acts that occurred in Birmingham, resulted in him ending up in jail. During his time in jail, he wrote his also famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”
Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail addresses his fellow clergymen and others who critiqued him for his actions during this time. The clergymen along with others are addressed in an assertive tone allowing them to fully understand why his actions are justified. Throughout the letter critics are disproved through King’s effective use of diction and selection of detail. Martin Luther King opens the letter stating that the clergymen are being “influenced by the argument of ‘outsiders coming in” consequently he explains the reason for him being in Birmingham. In the opening of his explanation he states the injustices occurring, relating it to the prophets of eighth century B.C.