Rhetorical Analysis Mlk Letter from Birmingham Jail Essay

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Martin Luther King’s inspiration for writing his, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was mainly to appeal to an undeniable injustice that occurred during his time. His letter was in response tos eight white clergymen, who objected to King protesting in Birmingham. Dr. King effectively crafted his counterargument after analyzing the clergymen’s unjust proposals and then he was able to present his rebuttal. Dr. King effectively formed his counterargument by first directly addressing his audience, the clergymen and then using logos, pathos and egos to present his own perspective on his opponent’s statements. The majority of the sentences in King’s letter can be connected to logos, pathos or ethos and his incorporation of appeals is masterful. …show more content…
It is implied with this statement that King did not have to take control of the situation. He is basically saying that even if he had chosen to remain neutral, Black Nationalist groups would have took action regardless. Another instance when Martin Luther King Jr. utilizes the tactic of directly addressing his audience to present his rebuttal is evident in the part of his letter beginning, "You may well ask: 'Why direct action? ... Isn't negotiation a better path?' You are quite right in calling, for negotiation." In this example, he also uses appeal to logic as the main backbone of his argument but occasionally intertwines pathos and clever word choice along with the logos.
Dr. King first identifies a portion of his opponent's argument and slowly picks it apart. He accomplishes this by focusing on the word "tension." According to the text, through a comparison of violent tension, which is undesired, and nonviolent tension, which is constructive, he gradually establishes the concept that the ‘constructive, nonviolent tension’ will, "help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood." King uses unmatched word choice, such as "dark depths" and "majestic heights," to accurately present his point of view. He then continues with, "Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue." His statement not only uses logical