An Analysis Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail

608 Words May 22nd, 2012 3 Pages
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, argued to his equality supporting peers that non-violent and instigative protests, while not as dignified as court battles, were fundamentally more potent and provocative. King successfully produced an appealing and effective message by integrating pathos and logos, utilizing faith based ethos, suitable literary devices, and a unique subtle tone that allowed him to maintain even-tempered and reasonable appeal in subject he was passionate and infuriated about. King wins the credibility of his peers by, firstly establishing they are his peers. He reminds them of his position as a reverend by citing the Alabama clergymen as “fellow clergymen”. Referring to his position as …show more content…
On the seventh page, King alludes that the accusations of his extremisms are more akin to great leaders of history such than the Black Muslim movement. “Was not Jesus an extremist for love… not Amos an extremist for justice… Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel” (King 7), he positions himself among the aforementioned figures, among others, to establish further credibility and essentially ensure his critics that while they may think his actions are wrong now, in the future they will be revered as extreme actions that brought peace. He asks them, as fellow religious leaders, to entrust faith into his cause, just as the supporters of Jesus did, and the supporters of Martin Luther, Lincoln, the forefathers, and others. This allusion makes for an emotionally compelling argument because it presents his critics with the option to support the status quo or participate in a revolution that is destine to change the world just as Jesus, Lincoln, and others have before him. While this may appear pretentious, it actually elevates his cause to a biblical level. His critics may fell more obliged to concur with King because of how he paints himself as the next great revolutionary on the timeline. Lastly, King’s subtle tone makes his grand and lofty arguments approachable. He only provides credentials and equates himself to great leaders to establish credibility. Beyond that he maintains

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