Letter from a Birmingham Jail; Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: African American, Martin Luther King, Jr., Southern Christian Leadership Conference Pages: 3 (972 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Freedom is deserved by all colour, age, ethnicity, orientation, gender should not be a restraint. Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. felt this way during his life in the times of segregation. He peacefully protested his thoughts and was arrested for it. Then his acts were judged by a group of white clergymen. They questioned the Negroes' choice to break the law rather than wait for change in a letter they wrote to a local news editor. In response to this judgement Doctor King Jr. wrote his "Letter From a Birmingham Jail". He was able to utilize several different rhetorical strategies in order to explain why they can no longer wait, create a poignant diction, and to persuade others to see the reality of segregation.

Being a pastor and a well known civil rights activist during the time of segregation puts that much more force, that much more of a yreality behind Doctor King Jr's words. By far, the easiest and one of the most compelling forces within "A Letter From a Birmingham Jail" is the imagery created by Doctor King Jr.

Doctor King Jr. goes on to list seeing "...vicious mobs lynch... mothers and fathers... drown your sisters and brothers... hate-filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill..." Then mentions having to explain to his six year old daughter that she cannot go to the new amusement park simply because it is "...closed to colored children..." And having to come up with an answer when his five year old boy asks "Daddy, why do the white people treat the colored people so mean?". Simply by mentioning events and the involvement of children not even over the age of ten Doctor King Jr. has put an image in ones head. He has attempted to create said image in a way that allows the reader to try to 'walk in his shoes'. Simply because people find it easy to say wait when they are just observers rather than the one involved. These situations are described in such a way that those with the "coldest of hearts" might feel a surge of sympathy....
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