Is Justice Fair Or Unfair?

Submitted By Tenor07
Words: 1117
Pages: 5

Luis De Luna
Ms. Emily Clark
English 1310
15 October 2014
Is Justice Fair or Unfair? In his letter, “Letter from Birmingham City Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. describes to the clergymen that what they are doing is not right. He explains that so many things have happened and they just stood on the side and watched. He is there because of the injustice that was put upon him. King says in any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps; collection of the facts to determine whether injustice exists, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action. He explains the hurt that the white society is causing the little children. The children have to suffer things that these adult Negros would not consider doing to their white enemies, they treated the Negros so cruel and unjustly. The King uses pathos to convince his fellow clergymen that connotative diction, imagery, and figurative language are all examples of emotional appeals that led to the suffering and sympathy of the African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. The purpose of the Kings use of connotative diction is to that, while he opposes violence, he does not advocate passively accepting maltreatment to avoid all conflict. In this passage, the King uses the word tension because he is describing a tense time in history and because he is being accused in previous letters of escalating that tension in the South. To make the point that some of this tension is necessary, he explains that the word can have separate meanings: "But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word 'tension.' I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth." King not only chooses a word that conveys an imagery of something tightening, but he also makes sure that he explains the words possible connotations. He is, therefore, able to reach his audience through the rhetorical mode of definition and separate violent tension from the more useful nonviolent tension. The King uses the letter to defend his strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism and oppression. He states that people have the moral responsibility to break unjust laws in a peaceful manner. The Civil Rights Movement was a gateway for the Negro community to start doing what the King suggested, since they had been segregated in every possible way and had no saying at all. In other words they were treated with unfairness. The King displays many different examples of imagery. The usage of his words such as lynch, curse, kick, and drown help portray how badly racial differences influenced the way people acted towards each other. Also the image he portrays in particular when he says "the stinging darts of segregation" gave a quality of feeling to the idea of segregation, in order to portray to us as readers that segregation was an idea that hurt many people and was not pleasant to live around. People could really see a picture in their mind when he talks about how he was going to change everything and the steps he had to get there. The imagery of this letter also helps set the tone for the whole letter. When he talks about this letter helping his fellow clergymen, people could picture themselves reading this letter and helped them change their point of view on the whole thing. All the way through the letter the clergymen could picture everything he talks about and really connect to the way he is feeling. On example of imagery is when he is talking about what it is like being treated so badly. “When you see the vast majority of twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society.” This leads to feeling the pain and suffering of the African Americans. Another example of imagery is “tears welling up in her eyes when she is told Funtown is closed to colored children.” He is telling about trying to explain to his six-year-old daughter why black people are treated differently and why white people