Analysis of 'Letter From Birmingham Jail'

Decent Essays
Every Individual comes to a point in their life when he or she must take a stand for what he or she believes in. For some, this may mean coming to the defense of other people, for others taking a stand could mean holding firm to beliefs or morals. In any case taking a stand is part of the human experience. Realizations, reformations, revelations, and revolutions have been brought forth in history because a dauntless individual stood firm for what he or she held to be true. Martin Luther King is famous for his daring counter-cultural beliefs and for being a man who truly made a stand in his struggle to gain civil rights for black people. A genius of the art of persuasion, King uses tremendously effective emotional…show more content…
King states “Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say wait. But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your brothers and sisters at whim...” For most people the bonds of family are among the most prized sentimental establishments, making it uncomfortable and even painful to imagine one’s own family members being lynched, mobbed, or drowned as haphazardly and unjustly as King describes it. By escorting his audience to a seat of suffering King engages his audience’s sympathies. By doing so he causes his audience to be more perceptive to his message. Though King pierces the heart of his audience by pinpointing their patriotism and value of family relations, he also provides his targets of persuasion with a more comfortable and enticing appeal. Throughout King’s letter there are numerous alliterations, each serves the same purpose of augmenting his argument. King states “When you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill your black brothers and sisters. The hard “c” or “k” sound reinforces the idea of cursing, kicking or killing. The repetition of the hard consonants even makes it feel as though King himself is “kicking” his point into the readers mind. It almost causes one to wince at the sound of the three words. Alliteration stands as a highly effective element in emotional persuasion because the human brain enjoys
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