Letter from Birmingham Jail
Letter from Birmingham Jail jsincraw pledge loyalty to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, With liberty and justice tor all. This is the pledge ot the American people; howcwer, only fifty years ago America was not residing in accordance to this promise, The year is 1963, and while numerous Americans are plating their right-hand men over their hearts and reciting this promise the nation stood divided by the color of a person’s skin. Martin Luther King JR. as one American who believed in this pledge and made it his ission in life to make sure that indivisible, and justice for all was not only a nice theoy, bur ultimately a real reality King was frequently criticized and even imprisoned in his pursuit for equality for all Americans. While being detained in a Birmingham prison King composed a poetic reaction to a post written by some Southern clergymen explaining What led up to him being arrested and put. in jail. In his pæjerful reaction King highlights his credibility, interest the emotions of the clergymen, and supports his stance with logical factors.
Also through using ogical, ethical, and emotional appeals King is able to show his point of view to the clergymen, In Kings letter to the clergymen, King develops credibility with the clergymen by using various techniques. One method King develops reliability is by identifying with the reader. King starts his letter by addressing “My Dear fellow clergymen” (King 241). gy addressing the clergymen as fellow clergymen King establishes a common ground with the guys, and gazes that they all share in the very same position.
Another method King establishes trustworthiness is by notifying the clergymen of his title in society. King specifies “l have the honor of serving as the local of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference” (King 241 Sy informing the clergymen of his position as president King shows to the clergymen that he is looked up to, and well respected amongst his neighborhood of individuals. Lostly in his letter King develops a reliable voice by utilizing the strategy of voice combining. King compares his crusade for equality with historic heroes such as the Apostle Paul, and Jesus Christ.
King relates how these historic figures of the past were likewise misunderstood at some time in their lives and relates this to his current circumstance, and how he is misinterpreted. King stimulates feeling in his response to the clergymen by utilizing powerful words, and providing examples ot the oppression happening in Birmingham. King specifies “I remain in Birmingham because oppression is 242) Oppression is an effective word that typically brings an unfavorable connotation. By declaring that he remains in Birmingham due to the fact that oppression exists King is aligning himself on the side of justice.
King utilizes “devil” words such as oppressed, nobodiness, illegal, and unfair to support his case concerning the oppression in Birmingham. In contrast King utilizes “God” words such as peace, love, nonviolent, and justice to support his position tor justice and onfirming his credibiliry, Another way King stimulates emotion in his letter is by providing reality examples of oppressions. King goes on to discuss how segregation affects the innocent kids of the oppressed Negro families.
King prices estimate a 5 year old boy asking his daddy “Daddy, why do white individuals treat colored people so imply?’ (King 244) Hearing these words originating from the mouth of a watchful kid will tear at the heart string of many grownups, and specifically grownups v,’irh kids Moreover King provides the clergymen logical reasons that led up to the onviolent protest Which undoubtedly led King in jail. King explains to the clergymen that he and his group first tried working out with the city authorities of Birmingham prior to they took direct action.
King also discusses that “in these working out sessions specific guarantees were made by the merchants-such as the guarantee to remove the humiliating racial indications from the shops” which” as the weeks and months unfolded we understood that we were the victims of a damaged pledge. The indications stayed.” (King 242) By giving the realities that preceded the demonstration King is attempting to shine some light. n his side of the story and offer the clergymen information in hopes that they will then be able to make a notified choice about the circumstance.
King refutes the idea that he and his group moved irresponsibly inro direct action, by providing examples ot all the steps they took previously finally deciding to take direct action, King describes that in a nonviolent campaign there are 4 basic actions: “( 1) collection of facts to figure out whether injustices live, (2) negotiation, (3) self-purification, and (4) direct-action.” (King 242) Direct action being the last option of the four step rocess, according to King the group went through the very first three actions and only when they were lett without any other possible choice the took to direct action.
Through making use of appeals King attempts to have the clergymen question their own beliefs and morals. The clergymen were worried about Kings willingness to break laws. King goes on to describe the distinction between unfair laws and just laws, “A simply law is a code that squares with the ethical law or the law of God. An unjustified law is a code that is out of consistency with the moral law.” (King 245) By discussing the distinctions of the 2 laws King is informing rhe clergymen that e is nor going to break “just laws”, hut he does nor see “unjust laws” as being important to the higher helpful for all individuals.
King also goes on to point out that whatever Adolf Hitler did to the Jewish individuals was technically “legal”. while the actions of Jesus were thought about at his time as being “prohibited”. By raising questions of what is actually ethical and unethical King gets the clergymen to take a look at him and his scenario trom a viewpoint. Through using rhetorical techniques Martin Luther King JR was able To display his own perspective of the scenario in Birmingham in a nonconfrontintaial way to the clergymen. King establishes trustworthiness with the clergymen by the use of voice combining, and by developing a commonalities.
In his letter King stimulates emotion from the clergymen by sharing real life experiences and his use of effective Finally King supports his psychological reaction by giving rational reason for his “direct action” which ultimately landed him in prison. In closing Kings command of the English language and his usage of rhetorical strategies permits the clergymen to be able to read his reaction from a neutral place; as a result, when the clergymen have the ability to read this response from this safe place Kings message is likewise able to be heard.