Rhetorical devices are a use of language that is intended to have an effect on its audience. Either to persuade them or to make them see something from their own view, like metaphors, or rhetorical questions. In Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” he uses several rhetorical questions and metaphors. That was used to help people understand how he feels about the resistance to racism but in a nonviolent way. Furthermore he was trying to express his thoughts about what had happened but he was doing it in a civilized non violent or forced manner.
The primary audience in the speech is mainly for the gay community of the nation. Mr. Milk is able to connect with his audience because he too is gay. The primary audience in the letter are those who “criticize” Dr. King, and he confronts his audience as a African American who has been oppressed and will not tolerate it any longer. The main purpose of the speech is to “give hope” to the gay community, and Mr. Milk does this by explaining how the “right movement” is not really happening as so many think.
In Martin Luther King Jr.’s piece, “The Ways of Meeting Oppression”, he tries to inform and persuade the reader about the most effective way of dealing with oppression by listing and and describing three characteristic ways people approach and deal with their oppression: acquiescence, physical violence, and nonviolent resistance. King states that by giving in and submitting to their oppressors, one is “cooperating with that system”, a system which is unjust; therefore, the oppressed does not become any better than their oppressor and proves their inferiority. By resorting to physical violence, they often create more complicated problem instead of solving solving them, leading to more destruction. Instead, King advocates nonviolent resistance.
In his letter he is mainly reaching out to the entire country to try and get them to put a stop to racial injustice. The way that he addressed and refuted the clergymen's letter is one of the things that made this letter most effective. Another thing that made this letter so effective, is the way that he used the appeal to emotion, or pathos, to pull the readers in and make them think about if it were them that were being discriminated against. Martin Luther King Jr. is very successful in explaining how injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
Martin King 's “A Letter From A Birmingham Jail” is a sophisticated argument that gets to the point, but also gets deep and emotional. Unlike Swift, King uses ethos, pathos, and logos to get into the personal level of his audience. While pointing out his valid ideas and arguments with reason. With getting on the personal level King explained to the peoples on his view of what was right and unjust. I believe King’s letter had a stronger argument than Swifts because King knew what his ultimate goal was.
Martin Luther King Jr once stated, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” in his Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963. He was invoking the principle of civil disobedience. He wasn't justifying breaking laws just because, but instead, meant that you break the law and accept your punishment, in hopes that people will come to see that the law is unethical. Civil disobedience plays an important role in how our society has been shaped up until this point.
By saying that “I am here because I have organizational ties here but more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here”, he assures the reader that he had researched on the topic. After then he talks about his association with Southern Christian Leadership Conference which helps the readers to make up their mind that the author is not an ordinary man and is credible. Then he appeals to pathos by talking about the trials of black men. He then talks about the discrimination of black men by police as well as people. He used powerful words like “vicious mobs” and also employed parallelism by saying “lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim”.
To begin his text structure was strong. The crisis is a persuasive paper because you can relate and understand the points he's trying to make. In this sentence “It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil of the blessing will reach you all” shows he's making a point and trying to reach his audience. He's trying to persuade us to revolt
When responding to the eight white clergymen, he states, “Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas,” giving the reader the notion that a plethora of criticism must come across his desk. But, he has chosen to write a response and explain himself simply because King feels they are “men of genuine good will” and their criticism is “sincerely set forth.” After the introduction of his letter, he feels he must next explain his location at the time: Birmingham Jail. “I am in Birmingham because injustice is here,” says King. This quote lets the reader know there is a reason behind King’s arrest, a very good reason, too.
While imprisoned, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, ‘A letter from Birmingham Jail’ as a response to eight clergymen who published a statement that emphatically disagreed with King’s methods of protest towards racism. Dr. King’s reply is demonstrated in a writing style that could be described as ‘efficient’ as he balanced different aspects of organization of his thoughts and passion through use of rhetorical devices to achieve an effective argument. Dr. King, possibly from his pastoral background, wrote his letter in an eloquent, sermon-like matter, yet it was his use of rhetorical devices that effectively stitched his argument together and gave it an interesting flow, either by reminding the reader of his purpose in writing, or to progress through his reasons in an impactful way.
The students of Nashville College believed that King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” provided them justification for conducting sit-ins, and boycotts of public areas. King’s letter discussed that in order for negotiations to be made people must first create “tens[ion] and force people “to confront the issue”(2). This idea of tension shows that public demonstrations are the only way that leads to negotiation on Civil Rights. Therefore, King’s letter insinuated that for there to be change, people must do protests like sit-ins. Another way King’s letter gave premise for the students protesting was because he states that “freedom is never voluntarily given” however, “must be demanded by the oppressed.
Early in the letter Martin Luther King Jr. defends
Malcolm X’s use of such radical ideas and solutions to the civil rights problems of his day, and MLK’s use of historical examples they captivate their audience and through logos and convince them of their views. Malcolm X completely shatters his listeners’ beliefs, using a roundabout form of rhetoric: he uses harsh language that seems to degrade his audience, while, at the same time, he increases their self-confidence subconsciously through their emotions and through logos builds in their minds the necessity to fight for equality. MLK uses analogies and enthymeme to relate to his audience the importance of equality in order to construct logos in the mind of his audience and convince them of the logic behind back equality. Through the use of appropriate elements of logos, MLK and Malcolm X appeal to logos to make an effective
Jeff Jacoby provides a strong argument in “Bring Back Flogging”, suggesting that we should adopt a few of the punishments of the Puritans. This argument is built on logical appeal, emotional appeal, and his own personal credibility as a writer. Providing statistics and information, Jacoby creates the logos, or logical appeal, and ethos, or personal credibility. In Addition, he uses ethos, or emotional appeal to force the reader to think about what they believe is morally worse. In “Bring Back Flogging”, Jacoby says Puritan forefathers punished crimes with flogging, including whipping and branding; however, in current times we tend to put a person in jail, no matter the crime.
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.