Rhetorical Analysis Of Mlk Letter To Birmingham Jail

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The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. strategically orchestrated a written response to the eight white clergymen that criticized his presence and actions in Birnmingham, Alabama. Dr. King’s main intention in constructing the letter was to correct any misunderstandings alleged by the clergymen and to justify the despairing need for a nonviolent action towards racial equality and justice for all humans. Dr. King’s illustrated his point of the letter by addressing the emotional, logical, and ethical side of mankind. Early in Dr. King’s letter uses an ethical appeal when he addresses the letter as, “My Dear Fellow Clergymen.” Dr. King’s informs his readers of his role as a reglious leader. This tactic estabhlishes his trust and credbility …show more content…

Dr. King explains by helping the people of Birmingham, he is in essence is helping people everywhere because “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (Pg. 564). During this time racial injustice was boldly demonstrated in Birmingham. In order to truly get his point across, Dr. King demonstrates his emotional appeal by illustrating vivid pictures in order to get the readers to feel something. In doing so, he writes about the horrible things that have occurred in Birmingham. For instance, the negro man was humuliated on a daily basis by being called “nigger” and denied the decency of being called by his name. In addition, Dr. King appeals to every parent in the nation by relating their children to the negro children. He states, “when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people…” (567). Dr. King’s emotional appeal is to invoke compassion and empathy in the hearts of his readers by showing that segregation creates an envirnoment of tension and

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