Martin Luther King Jr Letter From Birmingham Jail Analysis Essay

Letter from Birmingham Jail Analysis Essay

942 WordsFeb 26th, 20114 Pages

“Letter From Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” after an unjust proposal made by eight white clergymen. Their claims were to be that no Negro “outsider” should be allowed to establish or lead any protest and should leave them to their local neighborhoods. King replied directly to the clergymen, but used religious ties to also have his voice heard in the public. In his counter argument, King strategically used logical evidence, emotional aspects and good motives to present his perspective to the clergymen. In the beginning paragraphs, King states the main goals of his letter. He then goes on to set up the main points of his argument by stating, “You deplore the demonstrations taking…show more content…

Thus, the need for direct action to force the issue upon the community is further exemplified. King combines the use of ethos and pathos as he compares himself and the rights of men to religious backgrounds. His first comparison is with the Apostle Paul, where Paul had “carried the gospel of Jesus Christ,” as to Kings carrying of “the gospel of freedom.” King addresses this similarity to show why he felt committed to go to Birmingham, because like Paul, he needed to respond as an aid to his people. Towards the end of Kings letter; he exemplifies courageousness in the Negro demonstrations by relating them to the actions of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they refused to follow what they believed to be unjust laws. Saying that if they are supposed heroes by going against unjust laws, why shouldn't the people see Negro demonstrators the same way? They are also God's children and by those disobedience’s, they were really showing the grace of God. These connections to religion supports their fighting against unjust laws as a divine cause. While the comparisons to Christian backgrounds may better help a religious reader better connect to Kings message, emotional suffering helps all whites sympathize to the blacks hardships. Starting out with mentioning how long the blacks have had to “wait” for desegregation when their Godgiven rights already

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Letter from Birmingham Jail; Rhetorical Analysis Essay

1620 WordsSep 24th, 20107 Pages

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Use of the Rhetoric Triangle Every writer has some sort of drive when writing a piece of work. Whether that drive comes from a creative source or the need to prove a point, it exists. For Martin Luther King Jr. that drive was the need to put an end to racial injustice that seemed to be everywhere. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a perfect example. “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was King’s response to eight clergymen’s “A Call for Unity.” His drive came from the clergymen’s unjust propositions and accusations. This letter allowed King to not only propose a rebuttal but to justify his own civil disobedience, as well as explain the indecency of racial segregation. Throughout his letter, King…show more content…

We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. (Par. 2)
In paragraph 2, King points out the facts as well as his business in Birmingham. Logos required logic, facts, anything that shows flow of logic. In this text, King was informing us, as well as the clergymen that he in fact did have business in Birmingham. “Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” … Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.” (Par. 3) A subsection of logos is appeal to authority and by referencing to the Apostle Paul, King uses the same Biblical mentality of the clergymen to get his own point across, as well as justify his reasons for being in Alabama. Just like the Apostle Paul spread the word of Jesus, King is spreading the word of freedom. Briefly, King touched upon nonviolent direct-action in the previous paragraph as in his reasons for being there, however he goes more in depth into these direct-action ‘steps’. “In any nonviolent campaign there are four steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action.” (Par. 6) A major element of logos is enumeration. King uses enumeration to lay out a foundation for his counter argument by addressing the essential steps needed to have a successful nonviolent campaign. As King’s tone in the letter begins to shift and change direction, so does his use of the rhetoric

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