Rhetorical Devices In Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Martin Luther King Junior was phenomenal at using rhetoric devices to prove his points. This is made extremely apparent in his letter titled, A Letter from Birmingham Jail. In this pice of writing he uses two different types of Ethos, along with definition, pathos, periodic sentences, and diction. Martin uses all of these to reply to the group of clergymen who sent him a letter while he was in prison. In their letter they said that Martin should stop causing public disturbances. He retorts with this phenomenal piece of writing that is littered with literary devices. The first of these devices I will point out to you is Ethos, showing he was of good ethical background. There were four times he did this, the first was the way he opened his …show more content…

For example, he used Definition on page 265 paragraph 2 all the way until page 266 at the end of paragraph 3. In this section he is defining the difference between just and unjust laws very clearly. This makes the audience he is targeting completely understand how he sees this topic. It also helps them to understand his point of view. Martin used Pathos very sparingly. There are two examples of them that I will point out to you. The first is Martin’s periodic sentence on page 265 in the first paragraph. He goes on during this sentence to point out example after example of the daily struggles an oppressed race must face.The fact that it is a periodic sentence makes the emotions stand out that much more. The way he holds off the final point of “...then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.” really shows how brilliant of a writer Martin was. The second example of a Pathos is found on page page 267 paragraph 2. Martin writes about the “ white moderate” being worse than an extremist. He uses very strong diction in this paragraph to show the frustration he feels from the people who try to understand his situation yet, can not quite fully grasp it. This paper is filled with examples like this, where two or more rhetoric devices are used at

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