Rhetorical Language In Letter From Birmingham Jail

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In Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” King justifies his use of achieving negotiations through direct action. He solidifies his arguments by alluding to the clergymen’s inability to address the daily injustices suffered by African Americans. King’s use of powerful imagery and word choice of the daily plights endured by African Americans invokes an emotional response that challenges the clergymen to see the topic from his perspective. King’s persuasive style of writing includes logical arguments and allusions to respected historical figures. His ability individualize stories of injustice and segregation present the larger issue of civil rights in a way that the clergymen can relate to. Keeping his audience in mind he …show more content…

He uses the power of rhetorical language in order to turn the title of an "extremist" into a positive attribute. He preaches, “Was not Jesus an extremist for love ?” (Cotton 100) In addition to Jesus, King references many historical and biblical characters from Abraham Lincoln to John Bunyan.who have been revered for their actions. King takes advantage of the power of ethos in order to support his beliefs. Further more, supports his stands when he reminds the clergymen that men like Jesus where crucified for their beliefs. The mention of Jesus’s crucifixion evokes sympathy by emphasizing that a figure once labeled as an extremist was subsequently persecuted, is now seen as admirable figure.King uses this message to highlight the positives of being an extremist when fighting for a shared belief and make his stance more relatable. His many references to biblical figure provide various view point which all stem from traditional church values. As a result by the end of the paragraph he is able to diminishes the negative connotations of the word extremist, in affect diminishes their claims

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