The Ballot Or The Bullet Rhetorical Analysis

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During the Civil Rights Era, two prominent leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, both fought for civil rights reforms nationwide.Still there were many differences between the two, the most obvious one being that Malcolm X was willing to use violence to achieve his goals, and on the other hand, Martin Luther King Jr. only advocated for peaceful protest. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” he uses, multiple concessions and refutations, biblical allusions, rhetorical questions, and imagery to promote his ideal of peaceful protest. On the other hand, in Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet” he uses, an aggressive tone, repetition, comparisons, and rhetorical questions to argue that violence may be necessary to achieve equality. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” he tries to establish a common ground between him and the clergymen he is writing to. He does in multiple ways, first by using rhetorical questions, …show more content…
His aggressive tone can be truly captured when he says “If we don’t do something real soon…-time has run out!”(paragraph 5) Through the use of his aggressive tone, Malcolm X emphasizes how dire the situation the issue is. In addition, it also allows him to encourage his audience to act. Malcolm X repeats the word “we” multiple times throughout his speech, particularly when he states “We’re all poor…”(paragraph 26) Malcolm X does this in order to establish a relationship with his audience. He knew that there were many political, religious, and social differences between him and his audience; so he took that opportunity to establish common ground; just like his strictly peaceful counterpart did with the clergymen. In the end, Malcolm X’s use of an aggressive tone, and repetition of “we” encourages his audience to set aside their differences and take action, whether peaceful or