Rhetorical Devices In Letter From Birmingham Jail

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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” - Martin Luther King. These powerful words by Martin Luther King expresses his urgent call for action in the jim crow south. Martin Luther King had just gotten arrested in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 for his protest towards civil rights. He wrote the piece Letter From Birmingham Jail in response to eight clergymen who questioned MLK’s actions and they called for unity. In this influential letter, Martin Luther King elaborates on the reasons for his actions and the need for everyone to join the cause for equality during a time of great stress and segregation between people. This letter was monumental in motivating African Americans to continue fighting against social inequality. This letter is very effective in persuading it’s readers to take action because of Martin Luther King’s use of rhetorical sense and devices to connect and spread his beliefs with his audience. All rhetorical devices are used but the two biggest factors in making this letter very effective is the use of logos and kairos throughout the piece. These rhetorical devices have allowed this piece to ring in the ears of many throughout the decades. Let’s examine both these devices in more depth through examples in MLK’s Letter From Birmingham Jail. To start off, logos is the Aristotle term for the appeal to reason and it focuses attention on the massage often using data to support its claim. Logos is the rhetorical devices that is most
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