Martin Luther King Why We Can't Wait Essay

734 Words Apr 8th, 2008 3 Pages
Analytical Essay on Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King

Why We Can’t Wait written by Martin Luther King is a book that conveys the actual mind-set of many black Americans toward their freedom and emancipation. The social conditions for Blacks during the 1960’s were not that of freedom and liberty, but that of oppression and segregation. Martin Luther King makes use of a variety of stylistic, narrative, and persuasive devices to display his image of the harsh reality of the supposed “freedom” for blacks during the slowly progressing civil rights movement of the 60’s.
King incorporates a myriad of stylistic devices that shape and develop the theme of the passage in the book. Through the periodic use of rhetorical questions such as,
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The mini-story is told in a narrative tone. The reader could interpret the mini-story as a persuasive device if read in the mindset of the rest of the passage. Martin Luther King’s syntax and story telling abilities allow him to write both in a narrative and persuasive manner.
Equally important, King employs a barrage of persuasive devices with the goal of swaying the readers mind to his viewpoint. The author uses repetition such as using the phrase “all-Negro” repeatedly to show that segregation was practiced throughout the U.S. and in everyway possible. Martin Luther King asks the question of why blacks are in constant misery by using the rule of three in the sentence, “Had they shirked in their duty as patriots, betrayed their country, denied their national birthright?”. Numerous examples of injustice are displayed that clearly show King’s opinion on the treatment of blacks and they serve the purpose of persuading the reader to believe that blacks were constant victims of bigotry and racism. He also uses rhetorical questions like, “Was emancipation a fact? Was freedom a force?”, which pose the question if blacks are actually free or is it all a deception in the 1960’s. The rhetorical questions add to his persuasion tactics by putting doubt in the mind of the reader. King’s use of persuasive devices forces the reader to see his viewpoint and recognize that it
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