Comparison of Martin Luther King Jr.s' Letter from Birmingham Jail and I Have a Dream

Comparison of Martin Luther King Jr.s' Letter from Birmingham Jail and I Have a Dream

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One of the greatest speakers for the black civil rights movement was Martin Luther King, Jr. Two of his pieces that stand out the most, was the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream”. The Letter From Birmingham Jail is exactly that, it’s a letter that King had wrote while he was in jail, to a group of clergy members who disapproved of his action in Birmingham City. I Have a Dream was speech that was delivered in Washington, DC at Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. This speech was written to inspire people to look beyond themselves and also demanded the country unity focusing on equality for all without focusing on the color of their skin; King also wanted the people to take a stand in a nonviolence manner. The Letter from Birmingham Jail and I Have a Dream, have many similarities and differences between the two pieces.
There are many similarities between I Have a Dream and the Letter from Birmingham Jail. Both of the pieces have many rhetorical appeals in common, whether it is pathos, logos, ethos or even repetition. In the speech, “I Have a Dream”, one pathos part that had stand out the most was, “ I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. This quote is so emotional because it was not about what King wanted for himself but for his children, it also stand out because it make the audience thinks about their children and how they wouldn’t want their kids going through what they was going through, which makes it even more important to put end to racism. In the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, one pathos part that stand out was when King said, “For there is the more excellent way...


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... even kill your black brothers and sister.. when your first name becomes nigger and your middle name becomes boy..”, are examples of ethos appeal because they was even used as a professional use or comparing to someone else to show what is right, or even to show other people pain that the blacks community goes through. There are even logos appeals, “ Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nations and the world?”, King states his opinion in a question to show an idea that should be considered, even if the reader does not agree with him, it also makes the reader question their own ideas or opinion on the topic.
Overall, there are many similarities and differences between I Have a Dream and the Letter from Birmingham Jail, the two pieces together makes a strong point but apart they show different point of views.


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