“Letter from Birmingham Jail” Analysis Essay

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In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” he constructs a persuasive argument in order to justify his actions and presence in Birmingham, moreover to gain support from fellow Alabama clergymen. His eloquent diction provides a sense of inclusion, while his suggestive application of connotation lures or entices the emotions and actions of the reader. King practices great diction to generate strong emotional effects. “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights.” His repeated utilization of the word “we,” brings a sense of partnership and equality as he references his audience. The combination of the words “waited,” and the amount of time, “340 years,” stresses the urgency of change needed within our justice system. King’s use of the word “constitution,” which is the foundation of America, is to reiterate the inclusiveness of the word “we.” Thus, appealing to their sensibility. In the means of persuasion, it is initiative to make the emotional connection of sameness. King exerts words and phrases with somber or wistful connotation in order to “tug” at the reader’s heart-strings. In other words, elicit an emotion. “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” The words “painful,” and “oppressed,” are parallel to the sense of equality and partnership King is writing to achieve. The emotional value portrayed, in addition to the literal meanings of these words, brings a feeling of inclusivity. “Freedom is never voluntarily given… it must be demanded…” In this statement, Martin Luther King Jr. is calling his reader to action. His combination of conjuring phrases act like a volcanic eruption of response. His persuasive writing techniques include and bring the reader into affiliation, as well as prey on

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