Constructive Reasoning In The Letter From Martin Luther King Jr.
Recently you have received a letter from Martin Luther King Jr. entitled “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” In Dr. King’s letter, he illustrates the motives and reasoning for the extremist action of the Civil Rights movement throughout the 1960’s. In the course of Dr. King’s letter to you, he uses rhetorical questioning and logistical reasoning, imagery and metaphors, and several other rhetorical devices to broaden your perspectives. King presents these rhetoric devices to you to prove he is a logically sound man with expectations for great change. I am writing this analysis in hopes you might reconsider the current stance you have taken up regarding the issues at hand and help bring about change.
“How can you …show more content…
King in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” utilizes both imagery and metaphors. An example the pulls both imagery and metaphors together comes from the twenty-sixth paragraph of his letter; “Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.” The words quicksand as well as solid rock are a reference to the biblical parable of the wise and foolish builders. The builder who built his house on the sand had his home destroyed in a flood while the house built on the rock stood strong. Mr. King applies this reference and the visual representation to depict how, due to racial injustice, the national policies are not sturdy, and are sinking in the sands. Out of all the people you, Clergymen, should grasp this the best. An alternative example “… so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.” In this quote, Dr. King racism and prejudice to dark depths, he also compares understanding and brotherhood to majestic heights. Mr. King’s effective usage of imagery and metaphors is used to clarify his points through comparisons to draw attention to the distinctive aspects of his arguments throughout the …show more content…
Dr. King’s abnormal and frequent placing of the phrases/words brother, sisters, when, and and add a strong dramatic effect to this quote. Antithesis is also practiced countless times in Dr. King’s letter to you. Antithesis is used when King constructs two sentences with contrasting meaning in a close proximity to each other. Phrases like “moving with jet like speed” and “creep at a horse and buggy pace” downright contradict one another, but instead of using this device once, King exhausts it twice in the same quote. “The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet like speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at a horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.” Dr. King also contradicts Asia and Africa’s political independence to venturing out to the café and getting a cup of coffee. These varieties of rhetorical devices effectively support King’s communication to you throughout “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by imploring Logos, Pathos, and Ethos to establish his character with you through biblical references and rhetoric.
During this analysis, I hope it has assisted to highlight a handful of rhetorical devices Mr. King applies to illustrate the motives and reasons for unusual behavior in the early 1960’s. Through the examination of rhetorical questioning, metaphors, antithesis, and other devices I wish this analysis has