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Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail By Dr. Martin Luther King

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Compelling Craft The craft of using words to create a mood or an atmosphere takes great skill to make an audience understand and feel the cause a writer is fighting for. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist from the 1950’s to the 1960’s, wrote Letter from Birmingham Jail. In his letter he made a compelling argument to a group of clergymen, who questioned his quest. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his compelling argument using pathos, ethos, and Kairos by utilizing personal experiences, expressing a moral obligation to help, and his timely involvement for direct action. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. uses personal experiences throughout his letter to create an emotional connection to his audience. In order to build his connection, MLK begins his letter by giving a brief history on his role as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and what led to his incarceration. This information gives the reader the opportunity to humanize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The reader is able to see that MLK is an African American man who is trying to stop the…show more content…
Martin Luther King, Jr. uses ethos to appeal to his audience. MLK stated he would have not allowed a person to go without or let someone suffer. MLK states, “Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.” (p. 4) This statement allows the reader to understand that MLK is stating he will fight for any individual who is in need. This gives the reader the opportunity to have compassion for others and possibly allows the reader to ponder if they would do the same for others if they were in MLK’s place. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also uses specific events to help appeal to his readers that action was needed on his part to help his fight for human
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