Analysis of Letters from Birmingham Jail

447 Words2 Pages
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" was addressed to his fellow clergymen, but he wanted the entire world to read it. King explains; what he was doing in Birmingham, why he believed they must not wait and try to exact change immediately, and what he planned to do to help bring it about. King was a firm advocate of peaceful actions as a means to attain social change. He was the leader of peaceful protests against the segregation of the “Negro” people in America. Mr. King does a great job of clarifying all of the reasons for his arguments, making them logical in their appeal, hard to deny, and supports them well. For example, when he responded to the clergymen’s claim that the demonstrations were unwise and untimely, he states that the "Negro" community was left with no alternative and direct action was the only due course. Showing support for his argument he reminds that the African American leaders tried to negotiate with the city fathers, but no good-faith negotiations were conducted. Here the leaders just weren't given the opportunity to move forward without taking their own action. Mr. Kings "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is known for its powerful use of different literary styles. Among them, he was highly effective in the use of emotions to appeal to the audience (pathos). Being a preacher, he had the great ability of creating very emotional writings and speeches to appeal to many different audiences. Even looking at the very first line of his letter he uses emotional appeal to get the attention of the audiences. King writes, “While confined here in the Birmingham city jail…” the use of the word "confined" and "jail" together gives you a vision of a dismal sad place and you feel for him, it immediately draws you in. Above all in this letter, King excelled at logos, using an appeal to logic. One of my favorite lines which uses a good
Open Document