Letter from Birmingham Jail, An Analysis Essay

592 Words 3 Pages
Compelling, unfaltering and powerful are the three best words to describe Letter from Birmingham Jail. Martin Luther King Jr's intelligence is only exceeded by his amazing ability to illustrate the cruel and unsympathetic behavior towards colored people. Throughout the entire letter to the eight clergymen he never gets too far from the fight for equality in Birmingham. His incredible metaphors truly show his strong nature. His uses of elements such as allusion, rhetorical questions and juxtaposition all tied in with an element of hope to create a gripping argument for equality. Not just equality in Birmingham, but equality everywhere in the entire world.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." When King says this he
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"The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed toward the goal of political independence, and we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter." In the paragraph that follows he reveals to outsiders what real life is like as a colored person living in a white world.

If unjust laws are broken openly and intentionally and are done willing to accept the punishment then you have the highest respect for the law. King is speaking of a totally justified form of civil disobedience. He also goes into actions that are regarded as legal and actions that were regarded as illegal. He alludes to the destruction that Hitler caused during World War II, and he reminds the clergymen that helping the Jewish community that was being persecuted was considered illegal. King wants to bring the hidden tension to the surface and wants to show the unsuspecting world what really goes on and what the conditions consist of if you are a colored man. This goes along with his disappointment in the white moderate. History is something that blacks have endured for a long time. Slavery has been a way of life for the majority of black throughout history and it is time for change.

Martin Luther King Jr's constant allusion to the Bible and Socrates puts the clergymen in an awkward position. They are not condoning the fight

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