Throughout the letter King uses metaphors to influence his readers. Go back 55 years to the 1960’s everything was segregated from restaurant to water fountains. King uses this quote to explain how it feels to have to do things differently just because of your skin color; “I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say wait.”; King uses metaphors to compare segregation to the stinging of darts at the start of his paragraph. By using this metaphor he shows how much it hurts to be told you can not do something because you have a different skin tone. Another way King uses metaphors to affect his readers, is by showing real life examples; “When you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech
Dr. King uses pathos heavily throughout the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” as a way to provide an emotional experience through stories to his audience by using multiple loaded words. King explains to the clergymen that they have never seen “vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim.” By using this story, he allows the audience to imagine their parents and siblings go through such terror as they watch. He describes the mobs as “vicious” which usually has a negative connotation and can be associated with the word “attack”. It is then followed up with the word “mobs” and “lynch”. When the audience hears the word “mobs”, they will imagine a large group of individuals acting without thought. “Lynch” also has a negative connotation and can be
He wants his readers to imagine the pain and humiliation of the ill treatment that African Americans endure on a daily basis. King writes of vicious mobs lynching people’s mothers and fathers, policemen killing people’s brothers and sisters, a man and his wife not receiving the proper respect they deserve because of their skin color, and the notion that African Americans feel insignificant within their communities; this is why these peaceful demonstrators of whom the clergymen attack “find it difficult to wait” (King, 20). However, King believes that soon, injustice will be exposed, like “a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up” (King, 30). This vivid description helps arouse an emotional response, driving shame into the hearts of his white readers.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but rather, the silence of our friends. (MLK)” This quote from the inspirational civil rights leader captures the motivation behind his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” He wrote this letter in 1963--after he had been jailed--in response to southern white clergy who called his actions “unwise and untimely.” Although MLK utilizes many varying appeals and devices, Kairos and anaphora are the most forceful because they pressure the white clergy and stimulate guilt in them.
He questions the audience about society and what they have done for their community. “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality; we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities; we cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one; we can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity,” (King). King knows how to bring the people into the speech to involve every single person standing before him and make them feel like they are apart of the speech. He mentions what has been taken away from them which creates anger within the crowd. King’s ability to appeal to the audience through emotion affected society for decades after and changed the sense of pride the African Americans had.
On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote an open letter to African-Americans and all Americans who care about the civil right movement. In order to defend the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism and respond to being called an outsider, King wrote his famous letter “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” So why the King’s letter is so powerful and convincing to the readers? Is it because of his identity of civil-rights leader and his credibility(ethos)? Is it by the reason of the argument “there are just laws and unjust laws" (King) which he exerted numerous theoretical basis with utmost efforts(logos)? Or, It’s due to his passionate writing style and the description of the image of the oppressed black people(pathos). Actually, It’s all of them. These are the rhetorical method King used in his letter.
The letter has become known as one of the greatest works of argument in American history. Part of the reason for the letter’s effectiveness is due to its expressive use of pathos. King’s use of pathos in his letter not only supports the claims that he makes but also makes his argument morally certain. King’s letter is littered here and there with pathos that appear next to logos and ethos. King’s paragraph explaining why it is difficult to wait for the end of segregation is one that is entirely dedicated to stirring the emotion of the reader of which it does quite an effective job. The main theme throughout the letter is King’s urge to the clergymen to see things from the black person’s perspective. The clergymen want King to wait for their chance at freedom so that the courts may handle it. Since patience is considered as a virtue, they believe it is perfectly reasonable to ask King to delay his direct action so that desegregation can be handled in the courts. King makes the claim that the time to wait is over. He says, “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given
Amy Williams Professor Severson UCOR 2900-07 31 January 2017 Political Parallels in “Letters from Birmingham Jail” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s response to a public statement of concern from multiple Southern white religious leaders entitled “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is perhaps one of the most important and influential pieces dedicated to the fight for equality written in the last one hundred years. It is striking just how much of the content within this letter continues to ring true. Numerous arguments King makes are still extremely relevant today, and it is nearly impossible to engage with and reflect on this text without drawing parallels to the current political landscape. This paper will discuss exactly how particular points
The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is the letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. to the clergymen of Birmingham, in which he speaks up against the nonviolence demonstration criticisms by white modernists. In it King suggests that Socrates is civilly disobedient, despite Socrates’ assertions of breaking the law in the
Like instruments in an orchestra being brought in one by one to a melody that fills the ears of its listeners and drives out any other thoughts, King then targets the white moderate population, the white voters. He tries to place this audience into the shoes of the black people by giving vivid descriptions of the trials they have been going through and invoke empathy in their hearts. He says: "When you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your brothers and sisters at whim . . ." This statement brings up an issue every culture has had to deal with, death. Death in the American culture is one that is associated with loss and grief. King deftly imposes this loss on the shoulders of his white audience making it clear to them the pain the black people have been dealt.
The primary source chosen is the “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was a letter sent to the clergyman of Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. The actual document was written inside the Birmingham city jail on articles of newspaper and scrapes that Dr. King had near by in his cell. Throughout the letter Dr. King addresses the comments made by the Birmingham clergymen about his civil rights demonstrations. He understands that someone will have to break the racial barrier. The question that may arise is that, “If Dr. King’s message went to most southern states and did not go to all including Alabama, would the action be centered toward equal opportunity or segregation with the idea that each race would be a product of their resources?”
“A Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. was written in the margins of a letter posted by the clergymen of Alabama at this time that sparked his interest and while he inhabited the jail cell for parading around without a permit. This time allowed him the ability to respond wholeheartedly to this cynical oppressing. King’s letter addresses specific points presented in the Clergymen’s and this direct response distinguishes King’s strong points through his powerful writing. Unethical and immoral mentions came to the attention of the Minister through the letter, and he expressed his differing views and defended his ideals and actions through Aristotle’s three rhetorical devices, ethos, logos, and pathos.
In the year of 1963, Martin Luther King was imprisoned for peacefully marching in a parade as a nonviolent campaign against segregation. In Martin Luther King’s essay “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the paragraphs that have the most emotional appeal are, just as the critics say, paragraphs thirteen and fourteen. King tugs at the reader’s emotions in these specific paragraphs using very detailed examples about the difficult, heart-wrenching misfortunes that have happened to the African American society and what they had to endure on a daily basis in Birmingham by using metaphors, contrasts, alliteration, anaphora, and imagery. As taken from an excerpt of “MLK - Letter From A Birmingham Jail,” In paragraphs thirteen and fourteen of Letter
King’s use of many rhetorical devices in these three paragraphs of “Letter from Birmingham Jail” solidify his conviction that segregation needs to be quelled immediately. Dr. King’s explanations justify the demonstrations and protests that he is participating in. Although this was a letter meant for clergymen, Dr. King simultaneously taught all of America a very important lesson: justice is a universal natural right, and when it is denied, it needs to be demanded. Racial equality is the form of justice in this case, as segregation was the culprit that divided society into two racial groups. Thus, Dr. King successfully advocated civil rights through this letter with powerful, clever
With the people of The United States of America categorized as the audience, King speaks to people of all races and ethnicity. This discriminated audience included the grasping appeals to the ethos, pathos, and logos. As each appeal is fully informed of the rhetorical purpose, King finds a way to encourage all three. Through several metaphors and types of imagery, he makes the decision to speak to all of the appeals in order to accomplish to need for change. Clearly aimed directly at the hearts of blacks and making the whites feel ashamed of their actions brought together a turn in society as they knew it. This specific structure geared towards the audience was the main reason why King impacted Americans across the country and not just at the march. These different appeals mixed within the audience to help King influence his purpose of racial equality as each type of person could relate to his moving words.