Summary and Rhetorical Analysis of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

1697 Words Apr 15th, 2013 7 Pages
Summary and Rhetorical Analysis of “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested on April 12, 1963, in Birmingham, for protesting without a permit. The same day that King was arrested, a letter was written and signed by eight clergymen from Birmingham and titled “A Call for Unity”. The letter called for ending demonstrations and civil activities and indicated King as an “outsider”. On April 16, 1963, King responded to their letter with his own call, which has come to be known as his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” King justified the nonviolent measures that sent him to jail and explained why the segregation laws against blacks in the south must be changed (356-371). At the beginning of this letter, King gives us …show more content…
As a result, it can make all American initiatively to support the civil rights movement. King’s adjectives also help him persuade the reader in this situation. When he says that the tears were “welling up” it adds imagery and the audience can actually picture this scene, and this will make people for guilty or sad. Also, at the following sentences in this letter, King mentions, “When you have seen; when you take; when you are hurried…” (360). The word "when" that he appear up to 11 times. King uses parallel construction to present the true stories to make the audience cannot stop struggling with the sad emotional in order to let they change their mind. Since it is associated with our life, our family, our friends based on the human level. It is a long difficult road that the whole American society had to face, and it let the clergymen introspect on their own initiative drive by the emotional. On top of that, King emphasizes the contrast between their rising hopes and crushing disappointments to make his point. The whites had again failed to live up to their promises to help work towards equality. King states they are the victims of a broken promise, "As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us”(358). King made the white churches feel guilty for doing nothing to help the African American protests and violating morals established by the early church. King mentions the word…