Mlk Rhetorical Analysis

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Justine
Mrs. Morehead
English 3 AP
September 9,2012

In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, King argues that segregation laws are unjust and unfair laws. King illustrates many different strategies throughout his letter such as pathos, ethos, and allusions to describe and explain thoroughly to the eight clergymen that such laws as segregation laws should be broken and changed for equality for black people.

In Kings Letter in paragraphs thirteen and fourteen, he implies pathos to express how black people feel and all that they go through because of the segregation laws. King reveals all that they go through that is expressed especially well in a sentence in paragraph fourteen as shown: ”But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill your black brothers and sister;…” This is only a part of the lengthy sentence that shows very powerful emotion in vivid detail of all what black people face every day they walk out there home. King develops the use of pathos by starting out in the paragraph stating that black people have waited for over 340 years to gain their God-given rights and to explain how much they have gone through to still not deserve them. This sentence sets an amazing example of pathos creating a powerful emotion of sympathetic pity for black people.

Also in paragraph fourteen King provides an example of ethos in his letter. King’s example of ethos is important to his letter since the letter is about segregation laws towards black people. King’s example of this is: “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights…Perhaps it is easy for those who have seen never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say “Wait.”” King is standing up for his people, for his brothers and his sisters; he has passion for changing the segregation laws in America. Kings...
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