Letter from Birmingham Jail

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Letter from Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” This quote sums up the main purpose of paragraph 13 and 14 in Martin Luther King’s awe inspiring “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, in the letter MLK no longer wants to wait to negotiate with the whites because they've kept him and African Americans waiting for hundreds of years. In order to express his purpose, MLK uses pathos, repetition and creative metaphors to prove why he doesn’t want to wait for someone to give him freedom anymore. The use of pathos in paragraph 14 is illustrated by the powerful examples MLK has given. MLK appeals to his audience’s emotions by using his children as an example for why he cannot wait, “to see tears welling up in her eyes when she’s told funtown is closed to colored children.” (p.13). MLK using kids as an example in the unjustness of slavery evokes a response in the audience, that might not be found if he instead used an adult as an example. Using pathos, the tone of the passage becomes more powerful, and it gets the reader emotionally invested. Repetition is constantly used in paragraph 13 as a system by MLK to stimulate emotions and an need for change in the reader. The constant repetition of “When” in paragraph 13 builds up feeling in the reader each time MLK uses it, and each time he uses “When” the paragraph gets more intense, “When you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers.”(p.13). MLK uses the repetition of “When” to list 12 powerful situations to the clergymen, supporting his cause of why he can no longer wait. Martin Luther King uses metaphors in paragraph 14 to express the wrongdoings of africans while they are waiting. When MLK gave an example of African Americans being killed while they wait, he uses a visual metaphor to give the reader a descriptive thought in their head. “Negro brothers smothering in an
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