Summary Of Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail '

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In 1963, while Martin Luther King was in Birmingham Jail, King delivered a powerful letter to his Clergymen in order to take time and respond to the criticism he had received over his work in Birmingham. The Letter from Birmingham Jail addresses many problems, including the slow action occuring to stop racial discrimination. In order to do this, Martin Luther King uses several techniques in paragraph thirteen and fourteen of his letter such as repetition, personification, as well as allusion, to support his claim that racial unity has taken too long. To emphasize the passing of time and the need to take action now, King uses repetition and allusions in paragraph thirteen to assist his claims. King starts strongly with the bold statement “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”, which in this case, the oppressors refer to the whites, and the oppressed are the negroes. By starting the paragraph in this way, King provides a framework for his arguments later in the paragraph, and introduces a new argument against the criticism that King’s direct action campaign is not “well timed”. Further in the paragraph, King mentions that the word “wait” “rings in the ear of every negro with piercing familiarity.” King personifies this word to place an emphasis on the …show more content…

These literary devices allowed King to perform comparisons, create imagery, and reinforce his points. From these paragraphs, King continues onward to establish more arguments and bring more of the negroes’ situations to the attention to the critics. Within these two paragraphs, King’s use of literary devices created a strong argument that drove forward the meaning of time to the negroes. As a result, King was able to successfully defend his nonviolent campaign, which would go on to create a better united world we live in

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