Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

Decent Essays
The Twisted Tongue of Prejudice
A Review of the Devices in MLK’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now” (Martin Luther King Jr). King was all about equality. He spoke in many places throughout the United States from 1963 to 1968 when he was assassinated. He fought for African Americans rights when no one else would. He got white people on their side and eventually got rights for the African American people, but sadly it wasn’t till the 1970’s that black people were finally actually getting their rights after King died. He wrote “Letter From Birmingham Jail” in jail. He was arrested for protesting without a permit along with many other people including children. Although King wields a plethora of appeals and devices, pathos and allusion are the most powerful in helping get his point across because these play on the audience's guilt and reference related historical events that denounce the oppressors’ racist ways.
The pathos that King creates plays on his audience’s guilt and shame. For example, King states, "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 hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity….” King makes all whites, even the clergy, feel guilty and ashamed for being so cruel even if they are not the ones directly lynching and drowning black people. He
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