Rhetorical Analysis Of The Letter From Birmingham Jail

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The Letter The Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the great injustices happening towards the Black community of Birmingham. Though Martin Luther King Jr. is not from Birmingham, he states that he “cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what is happening in Birmingham” (214) so helping in Birmingham can also help all of the black communities for an “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”(214). This is his reason for the involvement in all of the non-violent actions taking place to show that Negroes deserve equal rights. To justify his desire for racial justice, he uses signifying allusions as well as appeals to pathos to strengthen his argument and connect to the audience. King. …show more content…

His use of pathos conveys his desires for justice. King saw things that nobody should ever have to, and he expresses this when he says: “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;...”(218). Everyone has a mother, father, sister, brother, etc. and this textual evidence can evoke feelings of being in the shoes of all black individuals. King also uses “you” and “your” to put these clergymen in the positions that the black community were faced with daily as well. Most would assume that religious leaders would be the least discriminatory out of everyone, but the falsity and disappointment of this becomes apparent when King goes to Birmingham. “In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern….But again I have been disappointed”(226). He uses his own disappointment of the “good will men”(214) to contradict the clergymen’s actions. Martin Luther appeals to emotions of his readers

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