Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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In the letter,” Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King responds to eight clergymen who harshly criticize his movement in Birmingham. He explains to them why he got involved in the segregational affairs of Birmingham, his non-violent direct action approach on segregation, and in general his beliefs on segregated America. As a person of a non-white race I commend Martin Luther King Jr. on his actions and bravery in the Civil Rights Movement. Due to his diligence, today I can say that I can enter whatever restaurant of my choice and go to school with children that are white or black. This letter allows me to see more than words on paper, but imagery of the struggle and pain of those who fight against unjust laws. For example, it says,” You warmly commended the Birmingham police… I doubt you would have so warmly …show more content…

if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; If you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men.’’ I believe imagery like this makes the letter have a bigger impact on its audience because it causes people to feel something whether it’s sorrow or anger; and pathos can be a powerful rhetorical appeal. Another aspect of this letter that I think is very clever of King to include, is his use of a lot of religious qoutes and knowledge to back up his beliefs because Christianity is something him and the eight clergymen have in common. For instance, it says,” I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love.” He uses Jesus’ crucifixion to help the clergy see that what he is doing may be

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