Rhetorical Analysis Of The Letter From Birmingham Jail

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The Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. is written in response to a letter written by clergymen that were dealing with racial problems in Alabama. The clergymen stated that King's approach to segregation incites extreme measures of hatred and violence. King’s letter explained to the clergymen that the steps to desegregate the South were the most effective, and beneficial ways to come about the situation. In the Letter From a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. uses rhetorical devices to effectively appeal to his audience. Martin Luther King Jr uses allusions, imagery, and metaphors to effectively appeal to the clergymen’s ethos, pathos, and logos. Allusions in the letter help convey injustice as immoral to the readers …show more content…

Allusions are figures of speech that reference a famous person, piece of literature, or a popular event. Doctor King creatively used allusions to convey the injustices that the people of the South faced in the 1950s and 1960s, during his nonviolent Civil Rights Movement. His Civil Rights Movement consisted of peaceful protests including the Montgomery Bus Boycott of Alabama in 1955, founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to mount protests against the Jim Crow laws, and organizing sit-ins in public places. Dr. King wrote in the letter, “Just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.” He uses this to appeal to the reader’s ethos because religion played a significant role in King’s life. He grew up in a Baptist church in his hometown in Atlanta and later followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a pastor after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in sociology. “Was not Jesus an extremist for love: ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’” Martin Luther King Jr references parts from the bible to point out that Jesus loved everyone even if they were not nice towards him. This appeals to the reader’s ethos …show more content…

is written in response to a letter written by clergymen that were dealing with racial problems in Alabama. The clergymen said King's approach to segregation incites the extreme measures of hatred and violence. King’s letter showed the clergymen that the steps to desegregate the South were the most effective, and beneficial ways to come about the situation. In the letter, Martin Luther King Jr. uses rhetorical devices to effectively appeal to his audience’s ethos, pathos, and logos. King uses allusions, imagery, and metaphors to effectively appeal to the clergyman. Allusions in the letter help convey injustice as immoral to the readers and clergymen. Imagery helps to paint the painful picture of the segregated South. Metaphors are used to show the clergymen how the South could be changed so that everyone is equal and how life could be if the South was

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