Rhetorical Devices In Letter From Birmingham Jail

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In the year 1963 Martin Luther King was imprisoned for peacefully marching in a parade as a non-violent campaign against segregation. When Martin Luther King was arrested by police and sent to Birmingham Jail, a letter written by the clergymen that was directed towards him about why his march was wrong. In response to the letter by the clergymen, Martin Luther King wrote his own letter in response to the Clergymen’s to persuade them into believing that their reasons for putting him in jail were wrong by successfully using Parallelism, deductive reasoning, and alliteration. King uses his rhetorical devices to appeal to the ethos, logos, and pathos of the clergymen to further strengthen his claim. Martin Luther King effectively appeals to the emotion of the clergymen with his usage of parallelism, which repeats the structure and adds great emphasis. King repeatedly uses words such as “you”, “your” and “when”, “But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society”. His parallelism in this part emphasizes the atrocities that African Americans suffered at the time, and persuades the clergymen to sympathize for what African Americans had suffered. The repetition in the

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