March And Letter From Birmingham Jail: An Analysis

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The Civil Rights movement was founded on the core principle of non-violence, which encapsulated the entirety of the movement. Hatred had to be fought with love, never brutality to create change. Leaders such as Dr. King and John Lewis believed violence was never the answer for the Civil Rights movement and nor was non-violence just a course of action, it was a way of thinking, a way of life, and most important a philosophy. The texts, March and Letter from Birmingham Jail, utilize the three modes of persuasion to justify the philosophy of non-violence.
In both texts, the idea of Jesus is alluded to and used as logic to justify the philosophy of non-violence. For instance, “Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them …show more content…

For instance, in “March”, “He spoke of Gandhi, this little brown man from India using the way of nonviolence to free an entire nation of people” (Lewis 77). In March the background panels go all black when an important figure or event occurs. This is purposely used by the authors as it draws importance to Lawson’s words that referenced Gandhi in his argument about non-violence being a core philosophy. This direct reference to Gandhi helps prove his point as he mentions a credible historical figure who adopted non-violent tactics to successfully bring down a whole empire. It historically proves the success of the non-violence philosophy giving credibility to Lawson. Comparably, in the Letter from Birmingham Jail, “... Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” (King 9). Dr. King references a prominent historical figure to add ethos to his argument of non-violence being a philosophy. He makes the analogy that his actions are comparable to Abraham Lincoln’s. Lincoln made remarkable changes to society for African Americans during his time, and Dr. King argues his actions are similar to his. King came to make a change to society and referencing Lincoln’s words about slavery supports his arguments on justifying his life-changing actions. With historical accounts, it justifies his actions and further proves the philosophy of non-violence as …show more content…

For instance, in “March”, John recounts his memories of a girl protesting. She was stopped by an officer and was asked “what she wants”, she responded with “f’eedom” (March 135). On the page, the girl, and the police officer, are drawn precisely while the children in the back are not. This is done to emphasize the importance of the event and to mimic the effect of a real-life conversation. It makes the readers feel as if they were there themselves, and the visuals work to emotionally appeal to the readers as children become involved. It showed that even children who were willing to carry the burden of freedom followed the philosophy of non-violence not just as a course of action but rather as a philosophy needed to spark change. This direct use of pathos shows the harsh reality of discrimination and touches the hearts of readers to understand how deep the philosophy of non-violence ran in many. Correspondingly, “We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and … asked ourselves: ‘Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?’” (King 3). Dr. King discusses in his letter, the lengths protestors had to go to, to perform sit-ins and not cave into the temptation to retaliate. The questions of Dr. King create an emotional appeal since it allows the audience to understand the seriousness of the philosophy of non-violence and the mindset that had to

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