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.
An ally smuggled in a newspaper from April 12, which contained “A call for Unity” a statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen against King and his methods. The letter provoked the King, and he began to write s response on the newspaper itself. King writes in Why We Can’t Wait: “Begun on the margins of the newspaper in which the statement appeared while I was in jail, the letter was continued on scraps of writing paper supplied by a friendly black trusty, and concluded on a pad my attorneys were eventually permitted to leave
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” it can easily be argued that King used many rhetorical devices such as anaphora and tone in order to further persuade his audience to take action on behalf of the Civil Rights movement. Through copious examples, the reader is presented with King’s effort to use repetition in order to drive his point as well as being presented with the changing tone of his writing which allows the reader to experience a shift in emotions and urgency throughout the
He explained why the protesters were civilly infringing racist laws and city ordinances; why the protesters had truth and justice; and how he was thwarted with the clergyman and white moderates in the South who said they supported his cause. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Dr. King incorporates biblical and historical allusions to give him credibility with his target audience, the clergymen. Additionally, Dr. King subtly asks rhetorical questions and makes logical conclusions to force his audience to consider his strategy of nonviolent resistance to cease racism and oppression. Throughout his piece, Dr. King uses many strong connections to biblical theologians and philosophers that strengthen his appeal and credibility.
Martin Luther King uses allusion in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to add greater meaning to the cause he is defending. Dr. King includes many biblical references in his writing to compare the similarities between actions in the bible and his. For instance, Martin Luther King says “like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.” Since Martin Luther King King is writing his letter to clergymen, his religious allusions are used to appeal to them; specifically, Dr. King brings up the point that certain tension is caused by people who have been subjected to grievances and believe “...that the white man is an incurable ‘devil.’” In saying this, Martin Luther King tells the clergymen that their sanctimonious acts and racial
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
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.
King gives plenty of historical references and back-ups throughout his cogent writing. When he asks the clergymen “why direct action?”, he responds by claiming that nonviolent direct action fosters tension that a community has been negligent to resolve. He also relates his call to direct action mentioning his personal ideals of how nonviolence tension is alright because it nurtures growth. Then Dr. King follows his personal relation with Socrates (para. 10) Dr. King possesses a unique argumentative style because he is intuitive.
For example, the speaker metaphorically delineates his feelings, as “the bullet was a girl…” (4). The “bullet” has a negative connotation to it because it often is associated with gun violence, warfare, homicides, and death. The metaphor insinuates that the girl is hurting him on the inside because this literary device indicates the girl hurting him after they fell out of love. Moreover, the narrator describes a boy’s past situation by stating that “… his skin / was a boy with a sad laugh” (4-5). This “sad laugh” is an oxymoron that shows the boy appears
Martin Luther King’s utilization of pathos and rhetorical questions in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” allows him to adequately advocate for civil rights for African Americans. MLK’s convincing use of pathos is shown in paragraph 23, where he wrote, “If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail.” This quote was intended to make the white bishops who he was responding to feel guilty, as slavery was perpetrated by some of their ancestors. Furthermore, this quote shows the general enthusiasm of African Americans and affiliates to push for the repealing of unfair laws of segregation. This is shown by African Americans being able to persevere through slavery and that segregationist laws
On April 16th, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. writes one of the most powerful and influential pieces in the nation’s history. King writes his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” after being sentenced to jail for protesting the mistreatment of blacks in Birmingham, Alabama. King passionately writes to defend fighting against racism to his fellow clergymen and responds to their concerns about taking direct action. To make his argument, King utilizes a series of literary nonfiction forms to provide a realistic image to his audience. Through doing this, King makes his argument stronger and more appealing to his audience.