Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham

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In King’s letter from Birmingham, he concludes his 50 paragraph letter by using specific rhetorical strategies in order to connect himself to the clergymen to whom he writes by shifting his tone from the disturbed and excited writing in the rest of the letter to one that is calm and composed toward his current situation in jail, and also by using more positive imagery and language. His attitude immediately changes in these closing three paragraphs in an attempt to assure the clergymen that he is reasonable in all his assertions, even asking for forgiveness for any over- or understated claims, apologizing for ever straying from the path of truth and patience, and he also asks “God to forgive [him]” (para. 49). After this last sentence of paragraph …show more content…

Not only does King appeal to the religious standing of the clergymen, but he also asserts that he himself acts out of a commitment to a higher law, the law of God, that should not only govern his actions, but that should also govern all people, including the clergymen. He states that he hopes that tomorrow will shine the “radiant stars of love and brotherhood” over the nation, meaning that the nation would accept that laws of God to love one another as brothers and sisters (para. 50). As a result from his shift in tone, Kings language also becomes softer and more positive. He creates a beautiful image of the the “dark clouds of racial prejudice” passing away along with the “fog of misunderstanding” and the coming of the “radiant stars of love and brotherhood” that will shine over the nation with their “scintillating beauty” (para. 50). With this, King concludes his letter with a hopeful image of the coming of peace and love among all people in the world. Lastly, King attempts to further connect himself with the men he writes by stressing the collective responsibility they all share in the “brotherhood” to work together in the “cause for Peace” (para. 49, 50). King addresses himself as a “fellow clergymen and a Christian brother” to unite the clergymen with him in his mission for civil

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