Letter from Birmingham Jail Allusions in Section 3
Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail is one of the most well known documents in American history. King’s profound ability to articulate important ideas, values, concepts and Biblical perspectives made for some of the most powerful and inspirational pieces of American literature ever produced. One technique that King used in his public speeches and letters was his allusions to historical figures, the Bible and opposing congressmen. During the 60’s when cultural prejudice still held strong roots in Congress, it was King’s talent to inspire the public that revolutionized America’s racial injustices. King’s frequent use of allusions in his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail proved his intelligence and greatly attributed to his success and popularity during the 1960’s. His allusions demonstrated his referential capabilities while also making his messages readily relatable to the public.
It was often said that it was not King’s intelligence that made him seem so acumen, but that he was “well read”(knew much from reading). His frequent allusions to major documents and famous statements in contest to his adversaries ultimately lead to his dominance in public speech. In the paragraphs 12 through 14 when king references the election of mayor Albert Boutwell, he states, “We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham” in paragraph twelve. The millennium is an allusion to a specific verse from the Bible’s book of Revelation interpreted as the 1,000 years in which Jesus comes back to earth to restore peace. King alluded to the Bible frequently in his letter used phrases such as “moral light” to describe morals as a light amid the darkness of racism, and “unjust posture” as the corruption and racial inequity in America at the time. Allusions were a medium King used to demonstrate his detailed study and overall comprehension of the Bible...
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