In the “letter from Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he uses pathos, logos and rhetorical devices such as imagery, sarcasm and biblical allusions to show how his work of nonviolent protests are smart and how Birmingham has violated their civil rights. He expresses himself in his letter by explaining why he can not wait any longer because of the countless murders, the unsolved bombing, lynching, and violence towards the black community. MLK Jr. came across a statement which was a call for unity by eight Clergymen while being in the Birmingham city jail because of him not having a license to protest. In response to the eight Clergymen, Dr. king decided to write a historical letter letting them know that freedom was not an option because of the false promise and the continued violence. The letter is written to inform the people who are against, neutral and with segregation that it is time to take action and prove to the clergymen why he will stand up for what is right.
We all know Martin Luther King Jr. ,right? We know him as the man who gave the “I Have a Dream” speech. Which was a step in the civil rights movement to fight for African American rights. Well, besides that monumental speech, he also wrote “Letter From Birmingham Jail”.
While in solitary confinement for nearly 8 days, reverend and social justice activist, Martin Luther King Jr., wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in response to the criticism he received for his non-violent protests. Several clergy who negatively critiqued King’s approach of seeking justice, wrote A Call for Unity, arguing that his protests were senseless and improper. Within the article, the clergymen provide nine different critiques that asserted how King’s protest are invalid, uneffective, and simply unintelligent in the fight for obtaining justice and equity for individuals of color. His letter has become one of the most profound pieces of literature of the 20th century, as King uses vivid examples and eloquent rhetorical devices to counter all nine arguments.
Amidst the intense Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and put in solitary confinement for peacefully protesting racial discrimination and injustice in Birmingham, Alabama. It was during this time that Dr. King, refusing to sit idly by, wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” one of the most inspiring documents in history. With his respectful nature, humility, compassion, optimism, and determination, King responded to a group of white Alabama clergymen who had condemned the civil rights protests as extreme in their open letter, “A Call for Unity.” Although his letter was directed towards a small group of eight men, his words eventually reached the minds and hearts of the entire country. Throughout the letter, Dr. King does a tremendous job of supporting his argument with the three elements of Aristotle’s rhetorical appeal.
JoAnna Guzman AP English Period 4 Mrs. Solis 5 February 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. letter “ Letter from Birmingham Jail” was a response to eight Alabama clergymen of 1963. The clergymen had accused King of being an “outsider” and interfering with the racial issues of the community of Birmingham. When writing in response to the eight clergymen from Alabama Martin Luther King Jr. uses the rhetorical device of historical and biblical allusions.
In paragraphs 33 to 44 of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s response to “A Call for Unity,” a declaration by eight clergymen, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963), he expresses that despite his love for the church, he is disappointed with its lack of action regarding the Civil Rights Movement. Through powerful, emotionally-loaded diction, syntax, and figurative language, King adopts a disheartened tone later shifts into a determined tone in order to express and reflect on his disappointment with the church’s inaction and his goals for the future. King begins this section by bluntly stating that he is “greatly disappointed” (33) with the church, though he “will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen” (33). By appealing to ethos and informing the audience of his history with the church, he indicates that he is not criticizing the church for his own sake, but for the good of the church.
The lack of assistance to these African Americans conveys how white Christian leaders were in favor of racial segregation, and had no problems with it. The letter that Dr.King wrote allows for people from anywhere around the world to understand the importance of the Civil Rights Movement, and why it was necessary for people of all races to participate in it. Martin Luther King Jr writes this letter originally because he is upset that the clergymen don’t understand why non-violent protests are being looked down on, and he clarifies why these protests must happen for African Americans. The letter has a significant importance because it gives plenty of information about that time period. Without Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, African Americans would still be separated and mistreated in unbearable
It has encouraged people in different countries to follow the non-violent path like Dr. King. In Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” he successfully communicated his message by expressing his thoughts and emotions in a soft and gentle tone. One can clearly see that Dr. King is trying his best to make the letter sound as pleasing as possible when he writes “I would like to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms (King, 1963).” The Author came across warm and friendly throughout the letter because he wanted to avoid any problems with the white people.
Letter from Birmingham Jail Response Within “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr. positions himself as a tired man; tired of waiting, tired of fighting, yet perseveres relentlessly with great momentum. “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested” (“Letter from Birmingham Jail” 6), a message to those who oppose freedom of the black man that this is a battle which will not easily dissipate. Raised by the gospel, King sees everything wrong with what is taught by white Christianity and quickly corrects the error in their ways, drawing reference to the Bible throughout his letter. King shows an apparent dumbfounded-ness toward the South’s religious leaders, who issued a public statement condemning the actions of peaceful protests
was sent to jail, following that he should express his feelings and he decided to write a letter. He used his opportunity to bring everyone up and fight writing about segregation, racism, law, truth and justice. He reminded us that we need to end segregation because everyone deserves the same happiness. In Martin Luther 's letter he uses logos to demonstrate his ability to inspire his fellow Civil Rights Activist, show empathy in the heart of white people and create compassion in the minds of the clergymen. Dr. King says “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”
1. In the beginning of Martin Luther King Jr’s letter, King peacefully defends himself against the accusations of eight white clergymen. The main purpose of paragraphs one through four is to present King’s defense. This section is also included so that King can explain his actions and establish his credibility with his audience.
“I have a dream.” Almost every man, woman, and child knows those iconic four words. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech spoke to millions and is remembered as a pivotal point for African American’s civil rights. Perhaps his second most persuasive work is his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Yet, what makes these works so memorable?
Analysis of “Letter from A Birmingham Jail.” “Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively” (MLK 5). On April 12th, 1963 eight Alabama Clergymen made a public statement regarding Martin Luther King, Jr.’s protests in Birmingham. They referred to the protests as unwise, untimely, and as an act to precipitate violence. They ask for the Negro community to withdraw support from the protests, stating that they are counterproductive to creating peace in Birmingham.