A Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
February 5, 2014
During the mid-20th Century, racism was a huge issue in the United States, which the most prominent was the racism of African-Americans. “There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.” King responded to the clergymen in a very direct way after their indirect statement that was released concerning his involvement with the modern day Civil Rights Movement. In his publication entitled “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” he very vividly explained his sense of urgency for his African American people equal civil rights in which they were stripped from because of color. In the start of the 13th paragraph, King insisted that the clergymen knew that he realized if he and his people had not begun to fight in some kind of manner for their civil rights and even civil liberties as United States citizens that their children and grandchildren will still have to wait; a “wait” that would possibly never come to pass. King’s tactics and strategies help lead to the redemption of his people after 340 years of slavery. In his “letter” King used rhetorical modes. His usage of pathos assisted with his audience both African American and white to reconsider this segregated world in which they inhabited. Like many of his speeches or publications, King uses his metaphors and syntax to take the audience to this dark place in which segregation held the African American society, whether young, old, rich or poor, your treatment as an individual was solely based upon your skin color. King references segregation as a “disease” because it spread down from generation to generation of the white society even highlighting the fact...
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