Letter To Birmingham Jail

604 Words3 Pages
In “Letter to Birmingham Jail”, by Martin Luther King Jr., King uses many techniques to strengthen his argument against segregation. Three techniques that King uses are biblical references,emotion, and logic. First, King uses allusions to biblical figures and events to appeal to his audience of eight clergymen. The biblical figures and events King makes reference to have a strong impact on his readers, and help him effectively make his point. Since King is a preacher and is communicating to a fellow group of clergymen, he appropriately uses biblical references which draw a tighter connection to his audience. Since King is a Christian, he uses biblical figures to show authority. When he is explaining the difference between just and unjust laws, he mentions St. Thomas Aquinas who said that "an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law” because St. Thomas Aquinas is a biblical figure of authority to the Christians. In addition, King also mentions Paul Tillich, a Christian existentialist philosopher, who said that separation was a sin. When King mentions Tillich, there is a sense of authority towards Tillich. Tillich says that separation is a sin, King implies that segregation and discrimination is also a sin. King considers the religious nature of his audience who, as clergymen, he assumes have studied the Bible. King uses their shared knowledge to make his point. Second, King uses emotion to touch and move his readers. He uses examples such as a black little boy looking up to his Father and asking, “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?” He refers to this many times that his people have spent nights sleeping in their cars because they were shooed from the motels for being black. He understood that people who have never experienced segregation might not be able to put themselves in the position to make a fair
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