Rhetorical Analysis Of Dr. King's Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was very well known for his rhetoric in his writings and speeches. In Dr. King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” he is responding to local Clergymen in Alabama. More Specifically their accusations of Dr. King peaceful demonstrations being untimely, extremist, and him being an outsider to the local issues. This powerful letter is extremely well written and Dr. King makes his reasoning very clear. Dr. King covers all the clergymen’s concerns and aims to throughly explain why desegregation needed to happened now. Dr. King’s letter is exceptionally successful because his influential positions exhibit sound ethos, his similes result in solid logos, his heart wrenching examples result in strong pathos. Dr. King’s letter …show more content…

King’s letter is exceptionally successful because his similes result in solid logos. He uses similes or comparisons to justify his is logic in being in Birmingham and leading desegregation movements. Dr. King uses numerous similes from the bible and other religious comparisons. On the first page he talks about Apostle Paul and how what he is doing in Birmingham is a similar situation. Apostle Paul was spreading the christian word the same way Dr. King was attempting to spread freedom. Dr. King compares the slow pace at which the south is desegregating to a “stiff creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter” (2). Dr. King uses a comparison between what Adolf Hitler did in Germany and how “It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany” to what he is making and effort to do in the south (5). He also compared arresting a Robber before he has committed the crime to arresting peaceful protestors “because they precipitate violence” (5). All of Dr. King’s similes venture to show how segregation is morally unjust and …show more content…

King’s letter is exceptionally successful because his heart wrenching examples result in strong pathos. Dr. King is attempting to get his audience to feel and be angered the same way colored people were. He tried to show how immoral law enforcement was by talking about seeing “ hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters” (3). He was doing this to attempt to get onlookers to feel how blacks felt. He talks about seeing “unconscious bitterness toward white people” building in young black minds when he talks about colored girls and boys not having the same opportunities as white children. Dr. King’s greatest attempt at an emotional response is his devastating description of “when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and last name becomes “John”… forever fighting a degeneration sense of “nobodieness” (3). His pathos is well founded not only because his points are completely horrible things to have happen, but because they are absolute

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