Letter From Birmingham Jail

Analysis of Letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King Jr. does integrate variety of choice of words and language techniques in relaying his information. His work Letter to Birmingham remains an artistic masterpiece. He is very careful in the choice of words that he does select. Essentially, he utilized the art of pathos, logos and ethos deeply to persuade the readers, making theme emotional and inducing the act of understanding the message in an easier manner. Moreover, his choice of words does match and combats the oppression being faced by humanity at that time. His letter was a response to the clergymen on a call to remain united (Leff and Utley, pg. 38).
Kind does utilize rhetorical questions to persuade the readers (pg. 29). He addresses the issues at hand with a high degree of professionalism. He also utilizes comparisons as an indicator of the efforts the Negros had to pursue freedom (Eskew, pg. 45). He is courageous enough to expound that he does possess the qualifications to lead the rest of the populations in demonstrations. Concisely, he says that he is in Birmingham because of the immense injustices available, and he is ready to provide a solution to them. The letter introduction sets an acknowledgement tone rather than attack. Primarily, he utilizes the words such as My dear fellow clergymen to initiate a sense of welcome and unison. He does not usher in an argument, but rather brings up a sense of understanding. Such an attack to the religious men could increase the chances of washing away the respect they had for him.
He even compares himself to the prophets, such as Paul who was called to save the Macedonians. The daring Paul was not afraid to leave his small Tarsus village to spread the gospel of Jesus. In the form of allusion, he persuades the clergy that he is sent and having an intrinsic urge to preach the freedom gospel to the people of Birmingham until they are free from injustice. Immediately after he addresses the core reason for the letter, he goes ahead to address the clergymen, to counteract their claims and arguments in a logical manner (Birt, pg. 16).
In a calm manner, he points out that the clergymen are not concerned with the conditions or issues leading the rising trends of demonstrations in Birmingham. Such utilization of logos does instills common sense among the clergymen. Kind adds insult to injury by saying that the demonstrations were inevitable. The Negro community could not react in any other way, other than demonstrating. The clergymen did claim that the demonstrators were breaking the laws through their act, but King utilizes the pattern of pathos to disapprove them. He does discuss the types of laws and morals, both unjust and just in the society. His mode of expression is likely to raise a sense of sympathy among the readers. He expresses his point that a legal thing may not possess the moral characteristics. He gives an example of segregation as a legal act but fails to possess the moral nature (Rieder, pg. 78).
He is keen to describe the horrific and hopeless events that led them to demonstrate, an act that evokes instant sympathy, pity and understanding. He draws a picture of two children through the utilization of symbolism, hence showing that segregation immoral and unnecessary. In paragraph fifteen, he makes a quotation of St Augustine, saying, An unjust law is not law at all. He further expounds of the negative implication of segregation, saying that it does distort the soul and damages personality of an individual. He gives Biblical examples of how Christians did break the unjust laws secondary to their beliefs in God. For, example, he quotes the case of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego, and how they faced Nebuchadnezzar courageously. He reminds them of Hitler’s acts in German.
In summation, it is clear that Martin Luther King Junior was a superb and amazing communicator. His choice of words, utilization of figurative and descriptive words showed his great urge to fight for the Negros (Bass, pg. 26). It is through his persuasive acts and words that led to an abrupt stop of segregation. He drew a picture of that all the people should have equal rights. It is his skills in speech writing that do persuades the clergymen to review their thinking perception.
Work Cited
Bass, S.Jonathan. Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King, Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders, and the letter from Birmingham Jail. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University Press, 2001. Print.
Birt, Robert E. The Liberatory Thought of Martin Luther King Jr: Critical Essays on the Philosopher King. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books, 2012. Print.
Eskew, Glenn T. But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle. Chapel Hill, N.C: University of North Carolina Press, 1997. Internet resource
King, Martin L. Letter from the Birmingham Jail. San Francisco: Harper, 1994. Print.
Leff, Michael C., and Ebony A. Utley. Instrumental and Constitutive Rhetoric in Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail.’ Rhetoric amp. Public Affairs 7 (2004): 37–51.
Rieder, Jonathan. Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press, 2013. Internet resource.