Letter From Birmingham Jail Analysis

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Martin Luther King, Jr. was imprisoned for breaking a court ruling while leading a nonviolent direct-action protest program against segregation. While imprisoned, King wrote an open response; “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. This letter was addressed to his fellow clergymen, but he wanted the entire world to read it. King elaborately explains; why he was in Birmingham, why he believed change must take place immediately, and what he planned to do to help bring about this change. In his prodigious letter, King creates a vigorous yet respectful response to a criticism made by eight Clergymen from Birmingham, Alabama. He strongly defends his position by strongly advocating racial equality, alluding to countless sources and employing several literary tools. King effectively and eloquently uses of allusions, dominating tone, ethos, pathos, logos, imagery, alliteration, and metaphors creates a brilliant argument, which relate to his audience to convey his passion for equality. Martin Luther King Jr., uses of allusions not only to display his intelligence, but also to connect with his audience and religious leaders. King mentions, St. Thomas Aquinas; a Christian philosopher and theologian, “Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust” He alludes to St. Thomas Aquinas to not only make his argument stronger, but to support persuade his audience, primarily religious leaders that segregation “distorts the soul and damages the personality”. King then elaborate more about segregation on a more profundity level by citing Martin Buber; Israeli philosopher terminology of segregation “segregation substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou”. This supports his position and convinces his audience by stating segregation, thus downgrades “Negroes” to the status of things and not as people. In response of the eight Clergymen

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