Analysis Of Martin Luther King Jr. 's Letter From Birmingham Jail

1178 Words Nov 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
To Reach Majestic Heights
When imprisoned, among the first thoughts to go through one 's mind isn’t typically to write to a letter that justify one’s actions. Conversely, after being imprisoned for non-violently protesting segregation, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, in the margins of a newspaper, to his “Dear Fellow Clergymen” (MLK Jr. 1), his famed “Letter From Birmingham Jail”. The main purpose of King’s letter is to defend and back up his strategy of using nonviolent action to protest oppression and segregation. He knows, if action is not taken, nothing will be consummated. Accordingly, to prove his point, Martin Luther King Jr. uses the three tools of rhetoric through asking rhetorical questions, and making use of metaphors and anaphoras to actively accomplish the purpose of persuading the reader that his decision to protest segregation and oppression was justified and they should agree with him.
Therefore, King opens his letter up by proving his credibility in such a manner where he can establish a sense of legitimate authority in the audience 's eyes. King does this through directly addressing the clergymen as his fellows rather than his superiors. Then he goes on to establish trust by stating his title “...as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference…” (MLK Jr. 1). When he does this, he uses ethos to make it known that he is someone with a voice that should be heard. Furthermore, a title, such as the president of a conference, is noteworthy. More so,…

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