Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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The letter from Birmingham jail by Dr. Marin Luther King was written as a response of King to nine criticisms made against the Southern Christian leaders and King’s participation in demonstration in Birmingham. King handled many rhetorical devices to convince his opponents such as the white clergymen with his rights to protest, create tension for direct action and to achieve the racial justice. The devices fluctuate between Logos and Ethos in a clever way to appeal to his audience and criticize them at the same time. King provided logical supports such as biblical figures, historical and philosophical references In addition, he used verities of metaphors ,allergy and poetic language . In my essay, I will point out some of the rhetorical …show more content…

I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our …show more content…

I am grateful to God that through the Negro church, the dimension of nonviolent entered our straggle”. King illustrated that how the action of the church was significant to reduce the aggressiveness and add love and in turn,create a nonviolent demonstration. By the Logos devices, King attempted to prove to the clergymen that the Negroes’ church agreed with the Negroes’ direct action. Furthermore, by the Pathos device, King mentioned that he is thankful to God that what happened was by the assistance of the Negroes’ church which had the same doctrines as the white clergymen’s church. King handled historical elusion when he said “floods of blood”. He referred to the discrimination could lead to a war between white and black people with lots of victims. King referred to what happened in the first three centuries of Christianity when the emperors prosecuted the Christian people. The victims were everywhere and the blood was like the floods in the streets. The same when white people discriminate the Negroes, it could lead to a war between them with lots of

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