Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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In the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr., he explains to the eight clergy men, whom had previously criticized him, and to the rest of America about why he is in Birmingham. King wrote this letter to persuade and answer the criticism of why his present activities were NOT “unwise and untimely.” While writing this, King uses the three Aristotelian Appeals: ethos, pathos, and logos to fully explain his points.
Throughout the second paragraph, Martin Luther King began to build his credibility. He does so by stating that he “serv[es] as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference” which is “an organization [that] operat[es] in every southern state.” This shows that King has a professional background and is very …show more content…

He does so by opening with a story about his emotional experiences and events. This is shown in the statement, “[w]hile confined here in the Birmingham city jail.” As King writes, he uses emotionally loaded language to prove his points; such as, “confined,” “we were the victims of a broken promise,” “our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us,” and “white power structure.” This brings a negative overview on the ‘white man’ and how King and other African Americans were treated unfairly. This causes the readers to have an emotional reaction and it can cause them to become sympathetic for the African American population. When referring to the term injustice, the author is appealing to pathos. In the statement, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” King is also inducing empathy and anger from his readers. As it nears to the end of the letter, King uses vivid descriptions in this sentence, “[let] us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty,” in order to activate our emotions

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