Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail In April 1963, Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent African-American activist who used nonviolent strategies for the advancement of equality through civil rights, was criticized by an association of white and Jewish religious leaders for his disruptive behavior caused by his mission for better treatment towards people of color. Dr. King wrote Letter From Birmingham Jail to address his peers’ concerns about his human rights endeavor being immoderate and reckless. In paragraphs thirty-one and thirty-two of his epistle addressed to his fellow clergymen, King uses allusions, anaphora, and parallel structure to justify his extremism and convey why extremism is crucial for the success of his pursuit towards human equality. …show more content…

King uses anaphora to allude to multiple influential figures in order to advocate for the act of extremism. Dr. King expresses his initial disappointment at being labeled a fanatic by his equals, until he realizes that he is being categorized with the many commendable activists who have come before him. King rhetorically asks “Was not Jesus an extremist for love”, “Was not Amos an extremist for justice”, and “[Were] not” several other reputable leaders extremists in order to uphold their beliefs and morals? By repeating “was not” at the beginning of each phrase, King emphasizes how multitudes of highly regarded people have defied unjust beliefs and laws and wound up successful in changing wrongful concepts into conscientious and ethical principles. In addition, by likening himself to admirable historical and biblical figures, King establishes that the actions he and his supporters are taking are for love and the “extension of justice”. King elucidates that his extreme dedication towards his cause is appropriate because of his honorable intention and

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