Dawn McNeil-Bruce English 2100 Professor Andrews- Parker 10/21/15 The Rhetorical Techniques in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” The unjust treatment of African Americans have cause a significant amount of African American leaders to use different ways to advocate for racial equality. One very famous advocate was Martin Luther King Jr. On April 16, 1963, Dr. King had written a letter from Birmingham jail to eight clergymen towards racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. had used this letter to convince the clergymen of the racial injustice towards African Americans. In order to persuade his audience Dr. King had used rhetorical devices to appeal to them. Martin Luther King Jr. uses an urgent tone to his …show more content…
Martin Luther King wanted to spark emotion in both the African American and white audience. He wanted to spark the emotion in the African American for them to join the non-violence movement. Dr. King said, “but there is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth” to bring emotion in fellow African American to the growth of racial equality. He wanted to spark the emotion in the White community to lessening the aggressiveness by giving insight on the everyday life of the African American. In paragraph 10 he quotes, “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, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity”. With great emotion, Dr. King speaks on his daughter and son not being able to do thing the white children could do. He wrote, “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 that 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 …show more content…
The strong voice of Dr. King is seen throughout the letter and his tone is used to display his feeling of desegregation. While using emotion to have a sympathy feeling in his audience and show them the life of an African American during that time. Even though emotion was used Martin Luther King still used logic to explain unjust laws and use example of history to connect with the discrimination going on towards African Americans. To add an extra rhetorical device he used repetition to convey the key points in his letter. From the end of this letter Martin Luther King leaves his audience with the ways to demonstrate ones point through rhetorical devices and his motivation towards racial
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Dr. King also included definitions and examples of unjust and just laws, and how they are not right. He included an example of these “laws” by talking about the things Adolf Hitler did was allowed but supposedly helping someone was not allowed. He writes and uses the letter to show the white Americans that are unaware of what is happening around them. Even, though Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is best remembered for his powerful voice and pathos in this letter is a thoughtful logical argument. Rhetorical Situations: Writer:
The Letter from Birmingham Jail proclaims the truth of black suffering out to the white community readers. In Birmingham, it is well known that racial injustice has taken a widespread over the black general public; they are faced with police brutality and the consequences of unjust treatments. Consequently, there are more unsolved bombings of black homes and churches in Birmingham compared to other cities in the country. Their own church, where their family, neighbors, and friends come to peacefully worship were targeted by a hate group. When the victimized communities seek justice, they are ignored.
In King’s essay, “Letter From Birmingham Jail”, King brilliantly employs the use of several strategies that are pivotal in successfully influencing critics of his philosophical views on civil disobedience. In the letter, King expresses his extreme disappointment over the criticism of his leadership by Alabama clergymen, his understanding of why oppressed people must resist their oppression, and his deep faith in the fundamental decency of all Americans. King implements idea from philosophers, such as Socrates, to make his dissertation. King begins with differentiating between just and unjust laws.
Because of his skill in creating such pieces of writing, as well as his influential role within the Civil Rights Movement, and the reminder that Letter from Birmingham Jail provides of these trying times, his letter should continue to be included within A World of Ideas. Persuasion within writing is an important tool to be utilized in order to garner support for one’s position. During the 1960s, equality between different races was a very controversial issue which required a certain finesse when being discussed. Martin Luther King demonstrated precisely this sort of finesse when writing about the racial injustices faced by black Americans, as well as when refuting the criticisms he faced from white clergymen.
In paragraphs 33 to 44 of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s response to “A Call for Unity,” a declaration by eight clergymen, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963), he expresses that despite his love for the church, he is disappointed with its lack of action regarding the Civil Rights Movement. Through powerful, emotionally-loaded diction, syntax, and figurative language, King adopts a disheartened tone later shifts into a determined tone in order to express and reflect on his disappointment with the church’s inaction and his goals for the future. King begins this section by bluntly stating that he is “greatly disappointed” (33) with the church, though he “will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen” (33). By appealing to ethos and informing the audience of his history with the church, he indicates that he is not criticizing the church for his own sake, but for the good of the church.
“Letter from Jail” On April 16, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter to the eight clergymen while he was incarcerated. Dr. King wrote this letter to address one of the biggest issues in Birmingham, Alabama and other areas within the United States. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” discussed the great injustices that were happening during that time towards the black community. Dr. King wanted everyone to have the same equal rights as the white community, he also went into further details about the struggles that African Americans were going through for so many years, which he felt like it could change. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, expressed his beliefs and his actions about the Human Rights Movement.
During the late 1960’s, Birmingham was the most segregated city in the United States. Riddled with high racial tension throughout the city, it gained its name of “Bombingham.” This was due to the fact that there were 60 unsolved bombings. With the city of Birmingham in ruins Martin Luther king was quoted in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, “I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham.” Martin Luther king used the misfortune in birmingham in order bring out reform and revamp the civil rights movement.
In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream” speech he uses many different rhetorical devices. He uses rhetorical devices such as repetition, analogy, and rhetorical questions. In each writing, he uses the devices for many different purposes. These purposes can be similar, or different. In short, Martin Luther King Jr. includes rhetorical devices in his writing.
In “A Letter From A Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King Jr defends his use of nonviolent protest in order to accomplish racial equality. In the letter, Dr. King uses ethos, diction, and allusions when defending nonviolent protest which makes his argument really strong. His goal is to make the clergymen help him fight racial equality. He uses ethos to build up credibility.
Have you ever read an article or book that express a lot of sympathy and it made you feel as if you can feel their pain. “The Letter From Birmingham Jail” displays the true meaning of pathos. After reading this” letter” emotions will overflow. Dr. King wrote with so much passion and courage, that it makes his readers feel as if they were part of the movement. He shows his concerns for the African American community by expressing their thoughts and feelings because they feel as if they have no voice.
A Letter From Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King Jr. is a name that will never be forgotten, and that will go down in the books for all of time. He was foremost a civil rights activist throughout the 1950s and 1960s. during his lifetime, which lasted from January of 1929 to April of 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and a social activist and was known for his non- violent protests. He believed that all people, no matter the color, have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take a direct action rather than waiting forever for justice to come through and finally be resolved. In the Spring of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. stated in a speech that Birmingham was among one of the most segregated cities in the world.
While in solitary confinement for nearly 8 days, reverend and social justice activist, Martin Luther King Jr., wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in response to the criticism he received for his non-violent protests. Several clergy who negatively critiqued King’s approach of seeking justice, wrote A Call for Unity, arguing that his protests were senseless and improper. Within the article, the clergymen provide nine different critiques that asserted how King’s protest are invalid, uneffective, and simply unintelligent in the fight for obtaining justice and equity for individuals of color. His letter has become one of the most profound pieces of literature of the 20th century, as King uses vivid examples and eloquent rhetorical devices to counter all nine arguments.
Martin Luther King used persuasive speech to get his points across. Throughout his letter, he presented an issue, restating opposers’ points of view and the value it holds, ending with a suggestion which appeals to all sides of the issue. He also countered these criticisms with honesty and equity,
When a federal injunction was put into place to prevent the protest without permission of the city, Martin Luther King Jr. persevered and decided to go on with the campaign. He got arrested for heading the demonstration and was in jail for eight days. When King heard of the eight clergymen who wrote a letter criticizing the direct action campaign, he began to write his well-known Letter from a Birmingham Jail. One of the tactics he uses to get people to agree with him is he uses emotion to get people’s attention. An example of this comes from paragraph eleven in which the main focus is a lengthy sentence devoted to naming the struggles African Americans endured during that time.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement in 1954. He had a great impact on race relations in the U.S. and he made a great impact on many lives. He died in 1968. Dr. King wrote 2 famous works, “Dream” and “Birmingham” and each had a different audience and purpose. Both works utilizes the persuasive techniques of pathos in “Dream” and logos in “Birmingham.”