Letter From Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis

Words: 354
Pages: 2

A rhetorical highlight of this essay happens when King unexpectedly launches into an extremely long sentence with use of anaphora. The sentence, which emphasizes numerous kinds of discrimination to which blacks have been exposed to begins as follows: “But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen… when you see…” This sentence, which contains 316 words altogether, is extremely influential. It catches us by surprise. Nothing in the tranquil, rational, easy-going opening portion of the letter quite prepares us for this outburst of strong emotion. This employs heavy pathos into Kings argument. By emphasizing the word “you,” at the beginning of each clause,