Tone and Writing Technique of “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Many times, disagreements fail to bring an understanding to opposing sides because each side has different views on the subject at hand. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attempts to establish an adequate definition of “just” and “unjust” laws. King knew he could not directly argue his beliefs of segregation because the clergymen made clear they were not impressed with anti-segregationists breaking the law. He knew in order to make a valid rebuttal he could not cause confrontation. What is most interesting about the letter is the style of writing King uses to argue for righteousness which compels the reader to share his views of anti-segregation.
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With King’s use of these and many other religious and moral examples, the clergymen are forced to reconsider their views on segregation laws. When Martin Luther King received the public statement from eight Alabama clergymen denouncing his efforts, he knew that the clergymen had several harsh messages of confrontation hidden under the words that they wrote. While in jail, King took it upon himself to respond in an almost identical tone by addressing both what the clergymen claimed and the assumptions they overlooked in their statement. Throughout the letter, King is able to control himself and comes across as warm and understanding, despite the confrontational subject being discussed. This calm understanding and professional tone earns him the respect of the readers. Having this respect enables King to justifiably take a stance on how to identify a just law from an unjust law. Readers, already influenced by Dr. King’s superbly pleasant tone, are persuaded to agree with such a righteous man. It is by this excellent display of writing and expertise that King is able to communicate his views in a way, without threat, that is both justifiable and excusable.
King, Martin Luther. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The