Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

984 Words4 Pages

The right to protest is a basic human right guaranteed straight out of the U.S Constitution. However, this right was infringed upon when the Birmingham police force used excessive force to quell a peaceful civil rights protest. Not only did they throw Martin Luther King Jr. in jail for protesting peacefully, but also his fellow clergymen applauded the actions of the Birmingham police force. Persuasive and Hopeful, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” letter urges the clergymen to change their opinion on the way the police acted, and also what he hopes the future will be like for African Americans in America. Through his use of tone, rhetorical appeals, and rhetorical tools, King Jr. attempts to sway the opinions of …show more content…

He appeals to emotions by telling the clergymen who the real southern heroes are. One of the bus boycotters, an elderly African American woman, said, “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested” (King Jr. 182). Even though she is uneducated she still had the profound thought about the racial injustice of segregation. This appeals to the emotions of the clergymen, showing to what great lengths they will go to to fight racial injustice. King Jr. also strengthens his argument by using the rhetoric appeal of logos throughout the letter. One of the most moving use of logos is during his explanation of the treatment the African American protesters were given by the Birmingham police force. “ I don’t believe you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its angry violent dogs literally biting six unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I don’t believe you would so quickly commend the policemen if you would observe their ugly and inhuman treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you would watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls.” By explaining the brutal treatment the police imposed upon himself and other African Americans, MLK successfully combines logos and also pathos, by using facts to show an incredible injustice. Through his use of logos and pathos MLK supports the clergymen to rethink their position on the police force’s handling of the

Open Document