Letter From Birmingham Jail Essay Essay

1451 WordsSep 28, 20166 Pages
Zhuo Liu Lauren Sassenoff English 1P-5 25 September 2016 Letter from Birmingham Jail Essay In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter while incarcerated in Birmingham jail to eight clergymen in response to their letter known as “A Call for Unity.” The letter asked for the stop of direct action type protest in Birmingham, Alabama that Martin Luther King was leading. 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
Open Document