Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pastor, activist, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Mr. King was a man of honor and respect even in the troubling situations of serving jail time. People who were supposed to support him questioned his actions, Dr. King still stood by what he believed in. In Birmingham, Alabama Dr. King hoped that the white religious leaders will come to his aid but instead found reluctance and opposition. In the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King, Jr. refutes his critics claims through the use of passionate tones, metaphors, and allusions. Dr. King effectively expresses why his critics are wrong in a passionate tone. He is extremely zealous about the rights that African-Americans have been neglected to have and should have, as well as everyone else. Mr. King was criticized for his “untimely” actions in Birmingham. “This wait has almost always meant ‘never.’” (King 264) Martin Luther King isn’t just a bystander witnessing the injustice; he is a victim and one of the few who is willing to fight for justice well deserved. His tone also evokes similar passion in the audience. The reader will feel that strong passion and by doing so they will realize that Dr. King does know what he is doing. Since Dr. King is directly affected and is relatable, his writing is able to effortlessly capture his determination and courage. All while having a passionate tone he is able to remain a respectable and calm tone throughout his letter. Dr. King’s tone shifts from brusque to a conciliatory manner. His non-aggressive tone benefits Dr. King’s argument and makes it more effective. If Dr. King had written in an hostile tone, the clergymen would feel attacked and would not want to support his cause.... ... middle of paper ... ...King, Jr. also used allusions from credible sources, such as the philosophers Socrates, the reformer Martin Luther, and Abraham Lincoln to emphasize how his view point is widespread. He also included Jewish Rabbi Martin Buber and Catholic St. Thomas Aquinas to show how members of his audiences’ faiths have even supported his viewpoint. In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King is able to effectively argue against criticisms through the use of passionate and calm tones, vivid metaphors, and biblical and historical allusions. King uses numerous biblical allusions to resonate with his clergymen audience and to make them realize that they were condemning a righteous movement. The vivid language in metaphors captures emotion and expands understanding. Mr. King was able to do anything to end the injustice in Birmingham and his commitment was shown in his tone.

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