Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

590 Words3 Pages

Civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, in his speech, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” articulates his ideas about civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance. King’s purpose is to answer complaints from his fellow clergymen and assert his position on events involving civil rights. He adopts a polite tone in order to appeal to experiences and similar feelings in his fellow clergymen, while also inspiring the people in his nation to act. Martin Luther King, Jr. justifies the legitimacy of his actions by connecting to his audience through the common ground of their circumstances. King begins his speech to the clergymen by questioning the claims of his fellow clergymen and asserting his credentials to build credibility. He appeals to concerned …show more content…

He promotes his credentials in order to revoke the complaints of the clergymen and establish his reputation. This list of credible positions from King conveys a calming tone that reassures the people that their questions of his reputation are answered and unnecessary. This appeal of ethos establishes a common ground in credibility between the Alabama clergymen and himself. King then begins to appeal to Pathos to voice his words to his fellow Negros. King begins his speech by including that countries such as Asia and Africa have already moved forward with social equality while pointing out that his own nation has segregated people in public places based on their own skin. He appeals to the furious emotions of his audience by explaining how countries such as Asia and Africa have allowed social equality to remain in their societies, while his own country has banned young children from “go[ing] to public” parks based on their skin and not their actions. He intervenes in this time of social inequality in order to unite the people and persuade his fellow negros to have no tolerance for social injustice. This release of emotion from King conveys an

Open Document