Rhetorical Analysis Of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail Letter from Birmingham Prison was written during the civil rights movement. During this time many communities in America were segregated, and nearly all of them were unequal. King wrote the letter as a persuasive piece, hoping to gain more influence in the community, and more support rather than opposition. It was written shortly after a “non-violent” protest march on Birmingham Alabama. During this march the police brutally put an end to the march and imprisoned King with other protesters, in Birmingham Jail. The letter was written on several mediums, including a newspaper, and paper scraps. The letter was later edited and published on April 16, 1963. It is clear that King is a very articulate individual. In his letter from Birmingham jail, King uses all points of the rhetorical triangle adequately, if not extensively. King’s use of two points in particular, pathos and logos, is quite expansive. In King’s world there were two forces at work that needed to be addressed. The first was the morality of the situation King was marching against. In King’s letter, he very efficiently hammers down the façade of his opposition, in such a way that ignoring the situation taking place in Birmingham would be perceived as cowardice. King achieves this goal mostly by pulling on the heartstrings of his audience. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dart of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen…show more content…
The excerpt shows what emotion was poured into the protest, and of white citizens, begs the question, ‘Would I be so peacefully protesting if the situation was reversed, or would I be fighting tooth and nail for the equality that all man-kind
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