Dawn McNeil-Bruce English 2100 Professor Andrews- Parker 10/21/15 The Rhetorical Techniques in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” The unjust treatment of African Americans have cause a significant amount of African American leaders to use different ways to advocate for racial equality. One very famous advocate was Martin Luther King Jr. On April 16, 1963, Dr. King had written a letter from Birmingham jail to eight clergymen towards racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. had used this letter to convince the clergymen of the racial injustice towards African Americans. In order to persuade his audience Dr. King had used rhetorical devices to appeal to them. Martin Luther King Jr. uses an urgent tone to his
Henry is speaking at the white house on a important topic. Henry is conveying his opinion to the crowd of listeners and delegates. Henry speaks on some controversial topic, freedom, religion, and slavery. When Henry is using slavery in his speech it is to state that Britain is keep them in bondage. Henry knew that the delegates that went before him we're not on the same pages him but he still presented his message strongly to the eagerly listening crowd and delegates.
On November 10th 1963 Malcom X ( Muslim Civil Rights Activist) delivered a speech to many African Americans attending the Northern Negro Grass Roots Conference. This speech would help in the fight for African American rights. Here Malcom X demonstrated how African Americans were being oppressed and directly exposed racism. This speech is important to history because it began to encourage people to act instead of wait. In Malcom X's speech he wants to encourage African Americans to stand up for themselves and he is also stating action needs to be taken.
By speaking of specific times where African American soldiers helped the United States in war, Green provides evidence to support his argument. In addition, by listing forms of discrimination that African Americans had to face, Green shows his listeners that it is time to take the high road and unite against the injustice. By successfully utilizing all parts of the rhetorical triangle, Alfred Green created a strong persuasive argument supporting African American participation in the civil war. In addition, Green remains calm and respectful throughout his speech and even connects to his audience on a personal level. Everything Green did and used went into formulating a strong speech that eventually met its goal of increasing African Americans numbers fighting for the Union Army in the Civil
“Letter from Birmingham Jail” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is known as a civil rights movement activist and he is recognized around the world as a symbol of freedom, liberty, and peace. He was the central figure for African –Americans and to speak up for people. He thrives to have a better future for his family and other Africans –Americans. He was the first to protest a boycott and in 1963 of April he was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama for participating in a non-permit march. In his time in jail he wrote a “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, which he uses all the rhetorical appeals.
Martin Luther King uses pathos in order to bring emotional appeals from his audience. In paragraph 11, King explains why it is difficult for African- Americans to “wait” for segregation to come to an end. In this section, he does quite a good job making the reader feel sympathetic towards the struggle of the black community. The main point of this section of the letter, was to force the clergymen see things from a black perspective. The clergymen wanted the African-American to continue to wait for their chance at freedom.
The Letter from Birmingham Jail and the I have a Dream Speech, both written by Martin Luther King Jr., explain the same message to people in two different ways. The Letter from Birmingham Jail was to write a letter to defend the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. He wrote this because he wants African Americans to come together and peacefully protest the unjust laws that are in place. On the other hand, his speech was to a large group of citizens, black and white, fighting for freedom, equality, justice and love. He used many rhetorical devices in his speech and letter that compared the two, and to show the differences in a clear way.
During the era of the civil rights movements in the 60s, among the segregation, racism, and injustice against the blacks, Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial to deliver one of the greatest public speeches for freedom in that decade. In Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech he effectively uses ethos, diction and powerful metaphors to express the brutality endured by African American people. Yet his most important method of reaching his audience, and conveying his enduring message of equality and freedom for the whole nation was his appeal to pathos. With these devices, King was able to move thousands of hearts and inspire the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Opening his speech Martin Luther King Jr. sets up his credibility with his use of ethos, referring to the Declaration of Independence saying, “This note was a promise that all men… would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life.” He places the strong authority of the declaration on his side to show how the American people are in contradiction to their own “sacred obligation” and the Negros have gotten a “bad check.” A metaphor representing the unfulfilled promise of human rights for the African Americans.
King repeatedly uses the phrase “when you” –eleven times approximately- in order to resonate with his critics the importance of action in bringing segregation to an end and allowing justice for all people of color. Each time he uses the statement “when you”, his argument builds up with greater fervor and passion giving him greater persuasive power over his audience as the repetition of the phrase cause an emotional effect on the readers as they begin to simulate their own experiences with that of what he is citing. Anaphora is also particularly useful in King’s favor as he employs this towards the beginning of the letter, therefore by repeating the phrase “when you” multiple times, it enhances the likelihood that his reader will remember not only what the read but how they felt by the end of the piece. The audience is actively drawn into King’s arguments due to a perception of membership, by being able to anticipate that the next line will repeat what has been said it builds resonance within the audience. King’s usage of anaphora throughout the essay (not just in this one particular quote) serves to effectively strengthen his argument and persuade his readers to abide by the four steps of peaceful protesting for which he is concerned on behalf of the Civil Rights movement.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. uses more powerful and plentiful examples of pathos in his literature, examples of which being his “I Have a Dream” speech and his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, than logos due to the more powerful emotional connection they carry which can convince his listeners to sympathize with his civil rights movement. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches and letters, there are many powerful examples of the use of pathos. Firstly, from his speech “I Have a Dream”, MLK preaches: “This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.” (King, 261). This piece of evidence displays that