Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Word count 492) I feel emotionally traumatized while reading the letter from Birmingham jail by Martin Luther King. I cannot imagine that although many people were Christians, black people were still inhumanely treated and marginalized during segregation period. I believe Martin Luther King is a hero, considering the way he was so courageous and optimist to peacefully fight for freedom of black community regardless of the consequences. He says that whatever happens to one of them will affect the whole community, so they should work together as people of United State. This essay reminds me of the history of my own country, Rwanda, where many people lived abroad as refugees for many years due to the ethnicity segregation, fortunately some courageous men among them decided to fight for freedom, many of them died but their good cause has been achieved. The letter is primarily addressed to clergymen as a response to their previous criticisms, but it seems that King writes to the public audience too, especially the white authorities. He starts his letter in a polite way to appeal to his audience, where he states that he can only take time to answer criticisms from genuine people. His purpose is to convince the audience …show more content…

He uses historical and biblical examples to support his main idea to end segregation. King’s audience is mostly Christian, so he uses gospel message to justify his acts when he defines Jesus as “Extremist of love, truth and justice,” and further explains that it is sometimes important to be extreme if it is for a good cause such as justice. King also uses his historical knowledge to clarify the meaning of some words such as “just” and “unjust”, “legal” and “illegal”, where he justifies that their meaning depends on the purpose of the user, for example according to Adolph Hitler, Jewish persecution was “legal”, and King declares he would not do the same as a

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