In, “A Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, King writes about the criticisms placed on him by the Clergy and to all the white Americans who believe they are superior and do not wrong. For example when King writes, “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed” (King 3), King is speaking to the clergy who dislike his motives and actions. King is stating his innocence and that he is doing nothing wrong and that action needs to be taken in order to initiate a change. The purpose of King’s letter is not all to inspire a change in America and just address the criticism towards him and his actions but it is also a call to action. King takes on the time of a courageous, righteous, and disciplined man who
He discusses Adolf Hitler and how throughout the time of the holocaust laws weren’t the biggest concern, there was so much chaos and horror throughout Germany that what was truly important seemed to be forgotten. In the letter it states “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws” (Pg 650). In this quote he is relating segregation to the Holocaust, and how there are unjust laws that protect the unworthy and punishes the upright. The Holocaust is a good example for that because during this time of peril instead of helping those in need the law only protected those who were creating the chaos. It was “legal” what Hitler did, but “illegal to help and comfort Jews. King states also that even though it was illegal to aid Jews, it was still the moral thing to do and he would have helped anyway. This applies to King’s Situation because he wants to cure segregation, and he will do whatever it takes even if that means breaking the
A Letter from Jail Martin Luther King Jr., a peaceful advocate for civil rights, was jailed for his non-violent protest against segregation. During his stay at the Birmingham Jail, a group of religious leaders publically attacked him with criticisms for his peaceful protest. As a counter attack, King wrote 'The Letter From Birmingham Jail'. This counter was successful for King was able to analyze and address his audience, refer to historical and religious figures and utilize anaphoras, making this letter, one of the most impressive argumentative essays.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a key figure in the civil rights movements that took place in the 1950s and 1960s. The “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is an open letter written by King defending nonviolent resistance against racism. The letter argued that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust and unethical laws. The letter also stresses themes of unity among brothers in order to overcome racism. I will argue in support of King’s stance that citizens are morally justified in breaking unjust laws and that openly and responsibly opposing unjust laws is itself a duty of every citizen.
In the letter the author use allusion to biblical and historical figures to allow the reader to create parallels in their minds. The parallels leads to comprehension of what King is saying through his letter. Although King uses many allusion in the letter, there is notable use of biblical and historical allusion that have a critical effect towards the reader. King alludes to biblical figures by saying, “Was not Jesus an extremist for love: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you” King uses Jesus, as an example who was labeled an extremist in his time to show that there is nothing wrong with extremism as long as its use for love and not hate.
King uses ethos, which is making himself seem credible, many times throughout his letter. An exceptional example of this would be in paragraph three, where King says, “...so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.” By comparing himself to the apostle Paul, it makes King appear to be more credible; more important and worthy of his position of leadership in the civil rights
At the beginning of the letter, King had already manifested his great ethos. He showed his sincere attitude to readers to better answer their questions, “But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms” (King), which enabled him to establish his trust in some demanding readers. Moreover, at the end of the letter, he wrote, “I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother” (King). This shows
Dr. King shares in his letter a sense of kindness, a trait that reveals ethics as his citation for presenting his argument. He begins his letter by addressing the clergymen by simply stating, “My Dear Fellow Clergymen” (1301), proving that he is writing this letter as a follow up to their letter about ending the protest that were non-violent. Dr. King believes that the clergyman are good people with a misdirection, so he adds to the letter, “But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms” (1302). As King writes about what
Martin Luther King went to jail for protesting for blacks in Birmingham in 1963. During the early starts of the civil rights movement he wrote a letter while in jail addressing the criticism people showed towards him who should have known better to not bash him in negative ways. It
In a response to the Alabama clergymen's’ letter Martin Luther King Jr. addresses their concerns and works to connect with his audience by establishing his credentials by describing his work. He uses imagery and sets up his character to not only unify people, but to also to separate groups.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was a powerful and eloquent letter that effectively argued the point that segregation is fundamentally unjust and should be fought with nonviolent protest. This letter, through describing the injustice taking place during the civil rights movement also provided some insight about Dr. King’s view of the government in the 1960s. Three mains themes present in Dr. King’s letter were religion, injustice, and racism.
He begins his letter by stating that he is writing this letter “while confined here in the Birmingham City Jail” (King 2). However although one in such conditions for being wrongly convicted and forced to write this within small jail walls would be expected to be hostile, King’s tone is instead calm and patient. He addresses his attackers as “my dear fellow clergymen” (2). And even apologized that they expressed different opinions (3). This, to an open audience, gives
First and foremost, One powerful example of King’s pull on the reader’s consciousness in his letter is on page three when he refutes the argument of the Clergymen saying that Colored people should just “wait”. While many words truly stand out, King’s true effect was mastered by the appeal to the parents in the group, “When you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: “Daddy, why white people treat colored people so mean” (“Letter from Birmingham Jail” 3)Then again, “humiliation day in and day out by nagging signs” (“Letter from Birmingham Jail 3) and even further, when “you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” (“Letter from Birmingham Jail 3). Another element that helps support King’s point in his letter is the fervent repetition of his blatant disappointment in more than simply the clergymen, but their Christian faith and the churches in service within Alabama during this time. King repeats how disappointed he was in the “common whites” also and their bystander reactions to racial issues. The fact that this man, a minister, “beneath” the said extremist white clergymen, and inhabiting a jail cell during that time, who was disappointed in people showed a true depth which hit the audience profoundly. (King)
In his letter King’s tone is very restrained, despite the tone of the letter from the clergy, which is criticizing of his actions. He starts his letter with a display of unity by addressing them as “My Dear Fellow Clergymen,” with this address King is showing he is there are all men of faith. Although, there are other insistences in the letter where Dr. King’s tone can be viewed as aggressive his overall tone remains polite there for creating a friendly tone, and the aggressiveness in his tone comes more from frustration. King illustrates his frustration in the way he lays out his argument, and he is able to do this through the use of repetitiveness. King does the best job of this in a very length sentence by delaying his point with the repeat
In the beginning paragraphs, King states the main goals of his letter. He then goes on to set up the main points of his argument by stating, “You deplore the demonstrations taking