Summary Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Alyssa Farris Dr. Michael Torrence English 1020 10 February 2015 1. Review paragraphs 1-4 carefully. What is King's purpose in that section of the Letter? Who is he addressing and how does he attempt to build confidence and trust (ethos)? How does his tone show awareness of his actions? Provide specific details to support your response. The first 4 paragraphs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” introduce his purpose in writing: to refute the criticisms listed in the clergymen’s letter which describe his recent activities in the city as “unwise and untimely” (800). King explains that he “does not usually respond to such criticisms as he receives far too many for this to practical” (800). He believes the clergymen are “of genuine good will and hence do their criticisms deserve an answer” (800). While the letter is directly addressed to the clergymen, it was likely written to the public as he submitted it for publication. He refutes the first claim of the clergyman---that he is an “outsider.” He explains his reason for …show more content…

uses repetition when he repeats words “was not” at the beginning of each sentence in which he lists famous extremists from Amos to Paul to Abe Lincoln to himself. He uses logos as he gives the reasons why he thinks he is still an extremist. King uses ethos when he ties himself to significant historical extremists such as Jesus, Amos, Paul, John Bunyan, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson. Pathos is used in the last sentences of the paragraph. King says, "In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime---the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists"

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