Rhetorical Analysis Of Dr. Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Rhetorical Analysis King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” is effective at convincing the audience of the immorality of segregation because of his use of rhetorical appeals, his knowledge on the topic, and his ability to connect his audience to the everyday harsh conditions of the average colored person.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. uses the rhetorical appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos throughout his entire “letter”, and he uses them effectively. The goal of rhetorical appeals is to get a point or idea out in the air and then make everyone believe it. His use of pathos is easily identified because he uses such strong emotion in his work. One example of his remarkable use of pathos is when king says, “when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your
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In the first four words of his “letter” King connects his audience to an everyday occurrence if they happened to be colored. “My Dear Fellow Clergymen” these words respond to the unstated connection between the clergymen and King, the fact that they are all brothers of the church. Osborn says “[They] had in fact not mentioned him or acknowledged his identity as a pastor, certainly not an equal”(26). Unequal treatment by every white American was ridiculously common and remarkably immoral. King explains a scenario he encountered in his own home he was trying to explain to his six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park, because “Funtown is closed to colored children”(2). This would be remarkably hard to see and even harder to explain. However, this was all to common to families as the children saw fun places they would love to go, yet they can't because they do not have the proper colored skin. This is what John Patton describes as the “speakers, [or writers], ability to ‘move’ the listener,[or reader], to more or lessly felt states of mind”(3). This means the writer can position his audience further away from certain points if they aren't necessary or they aren't wanted. On the other side the writer can bring the reader closer if he wishes for the reader to truly focus on this bit of information. Patton continues on, “the