In this quote he states, “Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their ‘thus saith the Lord’ far beyond the boundaries….I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town”, Dr. King references passages from the bible to validated his battle against injustice throughout the continental U.S. He is letting the clergymen know that wherever there is injustice he is going to be there The last rhetorical device used would be apophasis. “I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes.” This quote basically means that the clergymen will understand the injustice that is happening around them. He hopes that the clergymen will not ignore or overlook the injustice; that they will look at facts and base their judgment off the facts instead of what society says.
In paragraph 5 there is a good example of syntax. King uses a assortment of simple, compound and complex sentences. He starts by acknowledging the initial accusation, and then criticizes it. He uses rhythm to accentuate the power to stand up for the right of his causes. King uses diction in paragraph 13 because of the use of the word wait and what it really meant to negro's back during the civil rights movement---the vision of the word wait became different for me after he used it in this way.
In these two sentences, he presents the reader with a subliminal appeal to pathos. When the phrase is preached by the oppressor, the ‘Wait’ is followed by an exclamation mark, exemplifying the whites’ enthusiasm in helping the black community, but only when time permits so. When this resonating phrase is received by the oppressed, the exclamation mark suddenly disappears, expressing the African American community’s general depressive attitude regarding the segregationist views and socalled advice. He uses this example to open into his next paragraph, where he goes straight for the hearts of his readers. To open the fourteenth paragraph, Dr. King states that African Americans have “waited for more than 340 years for [their] constitutional and Godgiven rights.” (King 14) Stating exactly how many years it has been that he and his brothers and sisters have been denied civil rights and liberties again emphasizes the significance of the repeated phrase “Wait” in
Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue.
In the second chapter (2-5) he lays out the authority by which his group came to Birmingham. The great breadth of organizations that stand behind his actions overshadow the voices that reject his presence there. In the third paragraph, King makes one of many Biblical associations between the plight of blacks in America and the call of God upon his people to go and act on His behalf. This paragraph begins the preliminary thrust of the wrongness of injustice, and it is capped in the fourth paragraph with the
April 16, 1963 MY DEAR FELLOW CLERGYMEN: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in."
King also states that he is “compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my (his) home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid” (p. 3). King’s reference to Paul (a notable biblical figure who sought to spread the gospel of Christ) allows for readers to see that there are reasonable and justifiable means behind Dr. King’s actions/argument. King then states that “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality” (p. 4) giving a sense that he is in some way related (spiritually) to his readers, therefore we (as readers) should lend open ears and open minds to what King is arguing. Throughout his letter, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attempts to draw an emotional connection with readers.
His ethical appeal, or ethos, is evident when he writes: “I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth” (1). In any persuasive argument, an individual has a better chance of convincing others to listen if they begin by showing they are understanding and fair. With this statement, whether King really believed it or not, he set his audience at ease by saying he knew they had good intentions. To further utilize ethos, King established his credibility by outlining his qualifications. He wrote, “ I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia” (1).
This letter appeared in the Birmingham Newspaper. In response, Martin Luther King drafted a document that would mark the turning point of the Civil Rights movement and provide enduring inspiration to the struggle for racial equality. King's “Letter from Birmingham Jail” strives to justify the desperate need for nonviolent direct action, the absolute immorality of unjust laws together with what a just law is, as well as, the increasing probability of the “Negro” resorting to extreme disorder and bloodshed, in addition to his utter disappointment with the Church who, in his opinion, had not lived up to their responsibilities as people of God. King's justification to the eight clergymen for protesting segregation begins with a profound explanation of their actions, “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue”. The actions of the African American people are overdue and very well planned as King had explained in the letter.
He was famous for using nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice, and he never got tired of trying to end segregation laws. He also did all he could to make people realize that "all men are created equal." Because of his great work, in 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize -- the youngest person ever to receive this high honor. King was also a Baptist minister. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, when he was just 39 years old.