Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

677 Words3 Pages

Martin Luther King Jr.’s primary purpose in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is to justify his presence and involvement in the peaceful protests taking place in Birmingham as well as to condemn the world of unjust segregation and racism. By employing logos continuously in his writing, King develops and contributes to his position in support of peaceful protests and direct action programs that are meant to bring to African Americans the “unalienable rights” that they are being denied. He writes the letter in 1936 from his prison cell in Birmingham jail, replying to a public letter written by several clergymen. His well-thought written logic appeals to the intended audience but also indirectly addresses the divided nation. The soundness of King’s argument is evident throughout his letter. Following his justification of his presence in Birmingham, rather than expressing his own position, King addresses and refutes the counterargument that is most likely held by not only the clergymen but by many citizens of the nation. This Rogerian argument strengthens King’s own argument by allowing the audience to feel that their opinions are being heard. In this way, King’s argument becomes stronger and much more valid. In regards to direct action, King explains the program serves to “create the kind of …show more content…

He exemplifies both types of laws and relates his arrest to unjust laws that resulted from his civil disobedience but also stresses his willingness to face the consequences for any law that he breaks, just or unjust. In response to the accusations that characterize King to be an extremist, King lists the many “extremists” of biblical and historical significance who are now praised for their support of different causes. This reference is appropriate for Martin Luther King Jr. who has certainly joined the ranks of these

Open Document