Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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The United States of America was not always as free as it claimed to be. For instance, black people were once subject to segregation and discrimination. As the leader of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to respond to his fellow clergymen and their statements that criticized the demonstrations that put him in the jail cell he was writing from. All in all, King’s letter sheds light on the struggles against racial inequality through the persuasive styles of ethos, pathos, and logos. Judging from his letter from Birmingham jail, it is obvious that Martin Luther King Jr. is living in a time of racial inequality and discrimination. This can initially be seen from the fact that he is writing …show more content…

By stating who he is, King lets the reader know that his voice matters when it comes to responding to the clergymen. And as a result, he has the ability to gain the trust of the reader which then allows them to be persuaded by what he has to say. Now as for pathos, King uses this appeal throughout his letter by giving examples of what it is like to be black. The example that stood out the most to me was when King writes, “when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your 6-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children” (79). King’s use of pathos in this quote targets the emotions of the reader by revealing how children face the injustices of segregation. This is an effective use of persuasion since children appeal to nearly everyone no matter the color of their skin. In all, King’s use of pathos allows the reader to sympathize and come to an understanding on why racial injustices need to be addressed. Finally, King relies on logos throughout his letter to explain why he

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