Essay on Literary Devices in Letter from Birmingham Jail

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Letter from Birmingham Jail
1. In the first opening paragraph, Martin Luther King Jr. develops sarcasm and irony when he addresses the criticism against his actions. "If I sought to answer all the criticism that crossed my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day.”King does not have secretaries, but replies to the clergymen reminding them of his authority since they have criticize him.
2. The Kings patho begin when he states in paragraph 4 “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly” the mandatory equality that he explains when something happens to one, it happens to all. M.L.K is telling the audience that they do not want to have injustice anywhere because it will affect them everywhere eventually. The logo in paragraph 3, “Just as the prophets of the eighth–century
b.c. left their little villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his little village of
Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the
Greco-Roman world, so I am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own hometown.” M.L.K is saying that he is not just going around the country causing problems but he is going around spreading the idea of freedom. Since
King is writing to religious leaders he is attempting to appeal to their knowledge of famous religious characters actions.
Since King is a Christian he uses biblical figures to show authority here are 2 biblical allusions he uses.
“But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of
Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.” Martin Luther King Jr. talks about respected extremists in history and in the Bible. He uses Jesus, Martin
Luther, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham lincoln as examples to show that extremism can be important as long as you use it for love and not hate. Martin
Luther King Jr. then suggests that the South is in need for an extremist.
He also mentions St. Thomas Aquinas who said that "an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law” because St. Thomas Aquinas is a biblical figure of authority to the Christians. King also mentions Paul Tillich, a
Christian existentialist philosopher, who said that separation was a sin. When King

mentions Tillich, there is a sense of authority with Tillich. Because Tillich says that separation is a sin, King implies that segregation and discrimination is also a sin.
4. The rhetorical purpose is that there is tension created by Socrates in the mind
,and comparing that to society, that there should be tension. Helping men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism against others. Tension is great, but the con side is that it’s because of justice and the pro side of it is because it’s for a good purpose.
4. Along with how horrible it was for you, M.L.K arranges the word “when” addressing the time it happened and how it is happening to “you”.
5. The techniques in which M.L.K used in order to accomplish the persuasion of how segregation affected the blacks was the fact that African children would develop hatred towards the white children over how they were not allowed in the same places. Therefore they would question their parents, “ A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote had no part in enacting or densing the law”