Analysis of “I Have a Dream” and “Letter to Birmingham Jail” In the “Letter to Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King addresses the criticisms and objections that the white clergymen had made towards his and his affiliated organization’s efforts in trying to end segregation and achieve his and his people’s birth right: the right to be free through nonviolent means. Through the “I Have a Dream Speech” King speaks to his supporters and as well as to the entire nation to make them be fully aware of the injustices they are facing and through this make them stand up to those injustices. Both “Letter to Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream Speech” have the same underlying meaning however. That way too long have the black community been treated wrongly. That way too long have the black nation been “judged by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character (King 815)” and therefore it is time for them to rise and stand up for their rights.
By citing references of protest such as Jesus Christ, St. Paul, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, he justifies his current actions for the Negro community and states that he is willing to face the consequences when it comes to protesting for equal rights amongst all Americans. This was the first time that I have read Dr. King’s letter from the Birmingham jail and I have to admit that it was a very moving and inspirational letter to the people of the Civil Rights Movement at the time. I think that this letter showed how he was always protesting through love and peace and never violence, even though he had been classified as an extremist by the white community. By showing this type of leadership he proved to be such a courageous and intelligent figure in the Negro community and his words of wisdom made such a huge impact on the history of the movement. I believe that without letters such as these to his fellow brothers, most protests would not have been “peaceful” and the entire pursuit of equality could have been in jeopardy.
Letter from Birmingham jell, was to put it in literary terms, thesis statement of his life. In this paper, he meticulously illustrate his reasoning, using all complaints of logic, emotion, and ethics. A logical appeal is an appeal that uses the reason facts and documentary evidence to make a point This Letter, designed as a response to the clergymen that opposed the way in which Dr King was protesting, Dr King’s letter actually addresses two audiences simultaneously; the limited and defined group of clergymen and a broader and less exactly defined group of intelligent and religious white moderates. Dr King's letter brings out the black history of violence, harsh treatment and prejudice that started long ago. Also mentioning that Birmingham is one of the worst cities to be so ugly and brutal to the colored people all through its history.
Subject: The subject of this letter is to state the reason he is in Birmingham for trying to change segregation as social justice and his use of civil disobedience as an instrument of freedom. Occasion: Dr. King is writing this letter from inside Birmingham Jail for being accused of misuse of the law by performing in acts of civil disobedience to show his disappointment at the leadership of the clergy and laws that he and others of the black community deem as unjust. Audience: Although this letter was initially mailed to the eight white clergymen who publicly asked the black community to restrict their Birmingham demonstrations, King meant for his message to reach a much larger audience such as U.S. citizens. King used this letter as
Jamie Anderson Mr. Nate Engl. 0700.101 16 Sep. 2013 Final Draft Rhetorical Analysis Essay I Have A Dream In I Have a Dream, told by Martin Luther King Jr. he discussed the Civil Rights matters in hoping all racial relations would be equal and giving the black activist hope for the future. In this speech King Jr. appeals to the different types of audience, with the three rhetorical modes of ethos, pathos and logos. There are three types of audience this speech aims at; blacks who are discriminated against, whites who harbor thoughts at that time, blacks and racist people who argue that blacks are evil and the civil rights movement is violent. Martin Luther King Jr. made an assertion that “We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies,
In his “I Have a Dream Speech” he is more so talking to the white majority that has held him and all of the other colored people being segregated against and to the black people that want to make a difference in history and further the civil rights movement and get the rights they deserve. Once he has his target audience engaged, much like in the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” his language becomes very simple and direct again. The difference is, he is now urging direct action . His tone becomes more “preacher like” as he says “Go back to Mississippi: Go back to Alabama: Go back to South Carolina: Go back to Georgia: Go back to Louisiana: Go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair”(King) His assumptions of the basis of American society (religion, founding fathers, and the American Dream) enable him to keep his intended audience paying attention for what he most wanted to convey—the emotional battle of those involved in the campaign for civil rights.
The Balance of Objection and Respect While in jail, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the letter commonly referred to as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” as a response to a letter addressed to him earlier from the Clergymen of Alabama in order to refute many of their claims while also appealing to his neutral white audience. Through his use of parallelism, complex periodic sentences and Biblical allusions, MLK Jr. establishes his credibility to the Clergymen as well as the “white moderate” and illustrates to them the necessity of his protest while maintaining a respectful tone that is consistent with peaceful ideology. Although the letter is written in a non-violent tone, MLK’s use of parallelism and repetition throughout the letter demonstrates
Martin Luther King Jr’s letter uses tone, diction, and analogy to develop his argument. In his letter he addresses his clergymen’s criticism to his actions in Birmingham. He justifies his actions by arguing that he was invited here (Birmingham), and that he belonged in Birmingham. Dr. King uses different variations of the rhetorical devices tone, diction, and analogy. Martin Luther King Jr’s letter uses different tones in his letter, to justify his actions in Birmingham.
6) 7) In this paragraph, Washington essentially tells his audience what the alternatives are: African Americans can work for or against the South, they can be responsible for “its ignorance and crime” or “its intelligence and progress,” they can work in support of overall prosperity or impede it. 8) A religious image prevails in the concluding paragraph, where Washington calls on God, and ends with a request for bringing “our beloved South a new heaven and new earth.” The religious imagery permits him to make the point that the specific practical measures 9) The passage appeals to both logos and pathos. Washington appeals to logos in the factual opening and when he points out the material aids to the southern region of working with the African American population. He adds to his convincing appeal with figurative language, biblical quotes, and strongly connotative language—all examples of pathos. 10) 11) 12) Washington’s voice is a sturdy one, asserting his position in a rather professional voice, not the voice of a preacher or fiery politician that his speech presents itself
3) King balances the twin appeals to religion and patriotism throughout “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by linking them together. When he is told that he is an extremist, he answers with “Was not Jesus an extremist for love… Was not Amos an extremist for justice… Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel” (269). Here, Martin Luther King is linking both by saying that he can not be criticized for this since other did the same for different reasons. Therefore, Martin Luther King isn’t emphasizing religion nor patriotism more than the other since he wants his ideas to appeal to everyone. Questions on Rhetoric and Style 3) King’s allusions to biblical figures and events appeal to ethos because he is proving to have credibility in what he is saying since he is referring to the bible, which many people read.