Letter To Birmingham Jail Essay

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Brennen Sibby Mrs. Thomas English 1102-003 10-12-12 Letter from Birmingham Jail In 1963, the great civil rights activist Martin Luther King was jailed in the city of Birmingham, Alabama after attempting to organize a peaceful protest against the discrimination and segregation that gripped the nation during the tumultuous 1960s. While jailed, King was given a newspaper and a pen, which he used to write his thoughts and rebuttals during his eight day incarceration. In his writing, he not only includes what “they say” in order to further strengthen his own views, but King also applies the three modes of persuasion, also known as logos, ethos and pathos. By including his detractors points, explaining their fallacies and appealing to logic, emotion and facts, King…show more content…
Though King walks a fine line throughout his writing, successfully pulling off a balancing act between powerfully emotional and overly sappy, he paints a picture of what was back then the sad and inequal everyday life of an African American living in the south during the 1960s. Examples that especially come to mind as hard hitting and emotional are when King tells the story of how he has to explain to his son and daughter the various inequalities that they are already as children forced to experience. He is forced to explain to his daughter why she is not allowed to attend an amusement park that she saw on TV, forced to spit out an answer to his son when asked why colored people are treated so meanly by whites. This entire appeal to the readers emotions is carefully constructed and emotionally powerful; it serves its point by putting the audience directly in King’s shoes by using great imagery. King uses emotion to his advantage in his letters by putting the reader in his shoes and having the audience experience what must be just a small portion of the segregation he goes through
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