Letter From Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis

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Pages: 4

The Epitome of Rhetorical Appeals by Martin Luther King, Jr.
During the 239-year history of the United States, many citizens fought and raised their voices for the rights and justice of racial minorities in the society. Although the United States became known for equal justice through the efforts of citizens’ active civil rights movement, it also had a dark history of racial discrimination up until the 1970s. For example, African Americans suffered from Jim Crow laws, which inhumanly discriminated them through segregation. For these reasons, African Americans protested through bus boycotts, sit-ins, and street marches, which ultimately led to the success of obtaining justice. Despite the peaceful and nonviolent manner in which the activists demonstrated, many of them were brutally abused and imprisoned, including one of the most admirable leaders of the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. As a prisoner in a Birmingham jail, King responds to a public statement from white religious leaders who were in opposition to the activists’ demonstrations. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” King responds to those who disapproved of his actions through an effective use of logos and pathos, thus justifying his actions and persuading
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As an unfortunate expression, King states, “You deplore the demonstrations that are presently taking place in Birmingham but I am sorry that your statement did not express a similar concern for the conditions that brought the demonstrations into being” (126). King points out that his opponents’ false logic is lacking an explanation of a cause in a cause-and-effect relationship . Through an effective logical criticism of his opponents’ false logic, King successfully detaches credibility from his opponents as reliable speakers. By thoroughly deducing the flaw in his opponents’ claims, King successfully appeals to