Using ethical arguments, Dr. King was able to address legality, spirituality, and morality. This is especially important as the documents intended readers were clergymen of both Christian and Jewish faith. Speaking of the law of the land which was currently being violated, Dr. King said “we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools” (64). Dr. King was urging people to stand up constitutional rights that were being openly violated. He moves ahead in his letter making a reference to the teachings of a fellow Christian “To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law” (64). By citing a familiar, historical and religious figure of good will as a reference, Dr, King’s arguments are better received and are more easily associated with the philosophy of a well-known and beloved saint. One of the most potent ways he was able to portray the depths of depravity and the height of human intervention was by drawing attenti...
... middle of paper ...
...hter who is innocent is developing a prevailing animosity towards whites. Combined, Kings use of similes and metaphors paint a picture that is not easily discarded or forgotten by the reader.
With strong ethical, logical, and emotional arguments, King’s artfully crafted letter is a very effective rebuttal both defensively and offensively for his cause. Profoundly written in a dark time, King’s letter was an inspiration to himself and to his intended audience of Clergymen. His undeniable ability to capture his readers' attention visually, spiritually, and audibly make this enduring historical document a fantastic read and example of near perfectly executed rhetoric.
Jr., Dr. Martin Luther King. "Letter From Birmingham Jail." Miller, Brock, Sansom. Discovering a Voice, A Rhetoric for Writers. Southlake: Fountainhead Press, 2009. 428. Book Section.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- There are a select few individuals who have come variously to be called "great" or "brilliant" because they and their accomplishments have forever changed society and the world. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of those individuals. Martin Luther King's contributions to history place him in this inimitable position. One of the great figures in the march of human history, Martin Luther King Jr., like Gandhi before him, lived by a heroic credo of non-violence. More than two decades since his death, Martin Luther King ideas; his call for racial equality, his faith in the ultimate triumph of justice, and his insistence on the power of nonviolent struggle to bring about a major transformation o... [tags: Martin Luther King]
1425 words (4.1 pages)
- Dr. Martin Luther King’s Funeral and Assassination Word spread like wildfire when the news of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination hit the public. As the leading civil rights activist in the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. preached words of peace and understanding among races. A well known name throughout the North and South, King gained extreme popularity within the African American community. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated a wave of sorrow spread across the nation. With rage, sadness, and hopelessness in the public eye, clearly the assassination hurt more than just one man, it hurt a nation.... [tags: Martin Luther King]
1592 words (4.5 pages)
- The story takes place a few miles from New York City in 1968. The reader is introduced to a nine-year-old boy who is dropped off at a theatre with his friend in the outskirts of the town. The theatre plays horror-films, which excite the boys. As they enter the theatre they knew this wasn't a regular movie theatre. A black man served them their drinks and as they sat down on the front row they discovered that they were the only whites in the theatre. Their instinct told them to fly, but at the same time the theatre went crazy as a werewolf attacked its victim on the screen.... [tags: Martin Luther King]
1035 words (3 pages)
- Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" In his essay "Letter from Birmingham Jail", Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. disproves the assumptions of people that believe racism is acceptable when he compares the maltreatment of blacks to the inhumane treatment of the Jews by Hitler. King establishes a relationship with his audience by connecting on a level that is larger than the exploitation of African American's rights. He forces his readers to think about the execution of millions of Jews that was ordered by Hitler.... [tags: Martin Luther King Jr]
1225 words (3.5 pages)
- Biography of Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B.... [tags: Martin Luther King Civil Rights Movement Essays]
875 words (2.5 pages)
- Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15th, 1929, in Atlanta Georgia. His parents are Martin Luther King, Sr.and Alberta Williams King. His father was a prominent member of the blackcommunity in Atlanta and was a Baptist Minister. His family stressed the need of a firm education to lean back on. King attended a local, segregated public school and was dedicated to learn. At the age of 15, King attended Morehouse college and graduated in 1948. King continued his pursuit of knowledge at Croezer Theological Seminary and later graduatedwith honorsonly to further his education by getting a doctoral degree in systematic theology in 1955.During King's... [tags: MLK Martin Luther King Civil Rights]
557 words (1.6 pages)
- The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a well known man in many cultures of the world. Dr. King was and still is one of the most influential heroes in American history. King's views and beliefs, which were similar to the non-violent ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, helped African Americans through the 50's and 60's obtain the rights and liberties that was their birth right. King faced many obstacles on his quest like jail and even assassination attempts. Despite these obstacles, he became a successful leader during the Civil Rights Movement, and even after his death, by guiding African Americans in a non-violent and positive direction for the fight to secure rights and equality.... [tags: The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.]
1135 words (3.2 pages)
- Martin Luther King's Shattered Dream "I have a dream" is a phrase heard by more than 200,000 Americans on August 28, 1963, and since then, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" has resonated through millions of heads and thoughts in the world. Eyes search for the reality of his dream, ears search for the freedom bells ringing, hands search for a brother's hand, and mouths search for the songs of freedom. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a utopia where the colors of black and white would become so intertwined that shades of gray would appeared.... [tags: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essays]
1454 words (4.2 pages)
- A Discussion of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham City Jail Martin Luther King Jr. discusses the advantages and purposes for his theory of nonviolent direct action in his Letter From Birmingham City Jail. He shows four basic steps that must be taken to achieve nonviolent action. They include 1) collection of facts to determine whether injustices are alive; 2) negotiation; 3) self-purification; and 4) direct action. Each of these steps will be explained as part of King's argument later in this essay.... [tags: King Martin Luther Birmingham Jail Essays]
1372 words (3.9 pages)
- The Racial Controversy Surrounding the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. The impact of Martin Luther King, Jr. today is no doubt revered. He is commonly called the “Father of Civil Rights,” and is looked upon as a national icon, in an almost presidential-type light. His achievements have not only begat a national holiday for his birthday, but also helped lead to the creation of Black History Month. However, his accomplishments were not so regaled in his own time. In fact, most Caucasian Americans refused to even recognize any ban or barrier he and his cohorts attempted to change.... [tags: Martin Luther King Junior]
3078 words (8.8 pages)