Letter from Birmingham Jail Analysis Essay

942 WordsFeb 26, 20114 Pages
“Letter From Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” after an unjust proposal made by eight white clergymen. Their claims were to be that no Negro “outsider” should be allowed to establish or lead any protest and should leave them to their local neighborhoods. King replied directly to the clergymen, but used religious ties to also have his voice heard in the public. In his counter argument, King strategically used logical evidence, emotional aspects and good motives to present his perspective to the clergymen. 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…show more content…
Thus, the need for direct action to force the issue upon the community is further exemplified. King combines the use of ethos and pathos as he compares himself and the rights of men to religious backgrounds. His first comparison is with the Apostle Paul, where Paul had “carried the gospel of Jesus Christ,” as to Kings carrying of “the gospel of freedom.” King addresses this similarity to show why he felt committed to go to Birmingham, because like Paul, he needed to respond as an aid to his people. Towards the end of Kings letter; he exemplifies courageousness in the Negro demonstrations by relating them to the actions of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they refused to follow what they believed to be unjust laws. Saying that if they are supposed heroes by going against unjust laws, why shouldn't the people see Negro demonstrators the same way? They are also God's children and by those disobedience’s, they were really showing the grace of God. These connections to religion supports their fighting against unjust laws as a divine cause. While the comparisons to Christian backgrounds may better help a religious reader better connect to Kings message, emotional suffering helps all whites sympathize to the blacks hardships. Starting out with mentioning how long the blacks have had to “wait” for desegregation when their Godgiven rights already
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