Martin Luther King Jr: An Analysis of the Letter from Birmingham Jail

Martin Luther King Jr: An Analysis of the Letter from Birmingham Jail

Analysis Of the Letter from Birmingham Prison Written by Martin Luther King Jr., the “Letter from Birmingham Prison” is an apotheosis of convincing writing that makes the most of values, pathos, and logos in order to encourage its readers to rake MLK’s side during rhe American civil liberties motion, Making use of principles specifies MLK as a credible author; the use of pathos interest his audience on an individual level: and the use Of logo designs layers his arguments and claims with undeniable thinking and reasoning.

By using all 3 methods, MLK is able to hold the attention of his readers and persuade them to take his side in the fight against segregation. The speaker of this letter is who was “restricted” physically, but not mentally, in a jail cell at the time of composing this letter. MLK capitalizes or the truth that he remains in a prison cell to develop himself as a far more credible author in many ways. First, he composes this entire letter impromptu and does not modify it in anyways that will make it superficial for the readers.

Because the letter is not veneered in any way, it is more believable to its readers due to the fact that all the words in the letter are honest and sincere, Second of all, MLK quotes from many famous “extremists”, such as Jesus Christ. Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, Off the op of his head to justify how he really is enthusiastic and devoted to his cause. It is not an easy accomplishment to come up with the quotes of famous “extremists” in a prison cell.

On another note, MLK also defines himself as a reliable author by noting our his credentials. He begins by specifying that” [he hasl the honor of functioning as president of the Southern Christian Management Conference” (King 204), then takes fantastic efforts in explaining the headquarters of the SCLC and its lots of affiliated organizations throughout the South. His care in describing the size of the SCLC presumes that he has the important experience and leadership needed to fuel he civil liberties movement.

This reinforces his image due to the fact that individuals want to be led by a bold and able leader, which is precisely how he has represented himself as in the first couple of paragraphs, By revealing that he has an extensive variety af knowledge and ardent enthusiasm towards the civil rights movement, MLK is able to represent himself as a leader who many want to follow. The purpose of the letter, to encourage its audience to combat against partition, is implanted into the readers minds through the heavy use of pathos In paragraph 14 of rhe letter, MLK’s usage of pathos, in the type of sentimentalized ypothetical situations. llows his audience to feel sorry for the situations that he is explaining. The theoretical circumstances that MLK lists in this paragraph are practical and personal not just to his black audience, however likewise to his white audience. To start, he gets his black audience psychological by discussing that segregation has actually triggered ‘Vicious mobs to lynch [their] mothers and daddies at will and drown [their] sisters and siblings at whim” (207 ).

Although this imagery is morbid enough to raise ire versus the oppression of segregation, it does not totally attract rhe whites because lynching has never ever been problem in their own lives, Therefore, in order to grah the attention of the Whites, he narrates a long situation where the reader has to stammer and look for words to discuss to his six-year-old child why she can not go to a public theme park, all the while enjoying his own child wreck and seeing “threatening clouds of inferioritT begin to form in her “little mental sky” (207 ).

As engaging as this story is, MLK’s use ot pathos does nor end herm Rather, he continues to try his audience’s feelings by specifying another personal situation where the reader needs to “create an answer for a five-year-old boy Who is asking. Daddy, why do white individuals treat colored peoples so suggest?’ (201-208). As most of us know, the typical white family consists ofa couple, a son and daughter. y utilizing the examples that involve a sad son and child, MLK is able to get his white audience ro view the text by themselves individual levels, The number of times has a parent stumbled over what to tell his children When something dismaying takes place? For example, What might a dad state to his son and daughter when their pet dog dies? This is a circumstance that the majority of MLKs audience can relate to. Now that the white audience knows how egregation is affecting the blacks, they might haue a change of heart and start supporting MLK’s cause.

This reveals that whenever an argument or circumstance is presented in a more personal method, mainy through to use of pathos, it ends up being more effective and managing. Throughout the whole letter, MLK uses reasoning and thinking to support his numerous points. In one example, MLK utilizes a crucial tone to state how “shallow understanding from people ot great will is more discouraging than outright misunderstanding from individuals of ill will” (210 ).

He assaults the white moderates with this statement, stating that despite the fact that the frame of minds of the white oderates might not be sinister, the moderates are really hindering the black’s fight for liberty with their “lukewarm approval” (210 ). MLK even goes as far as saying that “the Negro’s fantastic stumbling block in his stride towards freedom is nor rhe White Resident’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate” (210 ).

He supports this daring claim by saying that the white moderates are “more dedicated to “purchase” than justice; choose negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; and paternalistically think that they can set the timetable for another an’s flexibility” (210 ). Then he lists his last support, declaring that the white moderates “live by a mythical idea ot time and continuously recommends the Negro to await a “more convenient seasonW (210 ).

This last statement elicits MLK’s tone of annoyance towards the white moderates and likewise worries the topic of his letter: the fight for civil liberties is occurring now since “justice too long delayed is justice rejected” (207 ). One can just presume how a white moderate might feel after reading this passage and sensing the tone of annoyance in MLK’s writinB After reading this scathing passage, the white audience will probably arry out their lives more very carefully than previously, hoping to discourage themselves from doing the actions that a white moderate, as described by MLK, would do.

For that reason, this passage is really reliable due to both the practical assistances that underlie it and the critical nature of it. In the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Martin Luther King Jr. uses ethos, pathos, and logo designs to bolster his claims and arguments concerning the civil liberties movement. His success at making use of these 3 components of efficient writing not does anything however enhance the support that he receives from his readers.

You Might Also Like