Rhetorical Response – Letter from Birmingham Jail

Rhetorical Action– Letter from Birmingham Jail

Giskard Teacher English Class Tuesdays & & Thursdays November 2012 Rhetorical Action– Letter from Birmingham Jail The “Letter from Birmingham Prison” was made up on April 16, 1963 by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from his jail cell, throughout his short incarceration. Dr. King’s letter was composed as a direct reaction ro an open letter [which critici7ed his activity); signed hy eight white clergymen and published in the Birmingham News. Even More, Dr King’s indirect audience was the United States (U. S.) White Moderate class. In his letter Dr.

King made really efficient use of the three hetorical appeals: ethos, pathos, and the abundant usage of logo designs in explaining the Whites oppression to Blacks. Or King usage of ethos is indirect. Or Kings direct audience is that of spiritual and found out guys, for that reason values is established through the use of religious and intellectual codes. The codes are shown as follows: “… to my Christian and Jewish siblings” followed With referrals to the Apostle Paul, St Thomas Aquinas, Socrates, the United States Supreme Court and St Augustine; making use of those code words developed Or. King as a religious, intellectual and highly educated guy.

He begins by validating his existence in Birmingham. discuss the organizational ties between his Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and the invite extended to him. This set the Stage for the letter’s most power message. Utilizing d court room metaphor he made most reliable and frequently use of the logos appeal; especially in disabusing his audience of the incorrect charge recommended that Or. King was an outdoors agitator causing problems with regional Blacks and the condescending so called “… unwise and poor of the Black demonstrations.

He utilized logic and provided significant evidence to clear him of this charge, with a highly effective closing argument that even if by some slim opportunity he were considered an outside agitator; the point was moot. The outside agitator charge was made moot by Dr. Kings undeniable logic that,” _ if there is oppression situated anywhere in the U. S. then no American [that ventured to that location] could be classified as an outside agitator. The effective use of the lots of pathos appeals is clearly shown by the following. Dr. King closes his letter by advising the authors of the open etter for their praise of the authorities in “… keeping order … and condemning the Black protestors for showing up and causing the local whites to become violent. Here is an age old fallacy of logic use frequently by a ruling class; that if a victim [for whatever factor] ends up being an appealing problem which provoke the wrongdoer, then the victim is the culpable celebration. Other usages of pathos are founded in Dr. Kings closing actions directed at the individual clergymen with hopes that they will open their eyes to the real heroes of the time He reveals a want to quickly satisfy each of his correspondents as fellow clergymen nd Christian siblings after the “dark clouds Of racial prejudice were cleared.

In closing. I think Dr. King’s Letter should be on display in Washington, DC best beside our other historical files; it is just as terrific [if not higher] a file as the Declaration. Dr. Kings letter [penl proved mightier than the sword and was the last steps to Black American quick 40 years history of flexibility in the Work Mentioned Jr. King, Martin Luther “Letter from Birmingham Prison” from the book The Reader. lames C McDonald (2nd Edition). Urbana: Pearson (2012 ): 164-173.

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