Effective Use of Language in Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail

1387 Words May 15th, 2010 6 Pages
In April 16, 1963 Martin Luther King wrote a letter from Birmingham jail that was addressed to the eight leaders of the white Church of the South, the “white moderates”. Dr. King’s letter talks about how unfair the white Americans were towards the black community, and how true civil rights could never be achieved.
Throughout his letter, King talks about how unfair the white Americans were towards the black nation, he talks about the disrespect, unfair and unjust treatment the black community had received from the white Americans. In the letter King’s response is very moving and effective to the readers, he has achieved this by effective use of language, stylistic devices such as the use of imagery, similes and metaphors, and by using
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Dr. King explains to readers that from how much the Black community had heard the word wait over and over again, even though they had waited and waited, there wasn’t any result.
Segregation had had many effects on the black nation, to the point that it started building up ones character, “See the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness towards white people”, King shows readers that segregation is even affecting little children, that it is starting to build up a young girls character and is contributing to the child developing hatred “bitterness” towards the white Americans. King makes readers imagine a black cloud settling in a young girls brain mentally, when instead she should have an image of a colorful blue sky with a rainbow, isn’t that suppose to be part of a 6 year-old’s imagination? King gives readers an image of destruction civil disobedience had created in the black community, especially in the young innocent little children.

Martin Luther king asserts that the white Americans don’t make logical assertions, he says “In your statement you assert that our actions eventhough peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion?”. Dr. King proves his point by using this rhetorical question
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