Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

568 Words3 Pages

Martin Luther King Jr. Addresses his Critics In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. responded to “eight local clergymen who questioned his methods” regarding a protest in Birmingham, Alabama (King 800). King was arrested for the protest, and while in jail he penned the response known as the Letter from Birmingham Jail. The clergymen claimed his protests were “unwise and timely” (King 800). King confronts their criticism by demonstrating what justice and injustice is. He delivers his arguments in a persuasive writing style that demonstrates that there are two sides to each event. He addresses their disapproval by displaying the experiences of African-Americans. King emphasizes his main point when responding to the clergymen’s criticism, he states that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (King 800). His main point is a response to criticism of why he is in Birmingham, Alabama protesting. The clergy have “been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in” (King 800). Once King justifies his purpose for being in Alabama, he assertively explains …show more content…

He utilizes this style to persuade the moderate clergy. He answers their prior criticism with respect and acknowledges that they are men of good will (King 800). When using his persuasive writing style, King utilizes analogies to push forward his agenda of equality. For example, the clergy assume that the actions of the peaceful protestors lead to future violence, so they ought to be condemned (King 806). King uses an analogy to demonstrate that this line of thinking is fallacious. He states, “Isn’t this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquires precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock?” (King 806). His use of analogies compliments his persuasive writing style, and lets the reader feel empathy towards the injustices perpetrated on

Open Document