King is not speaking only of racism; he is speaking of injustice in general. How does this comparison appropriately justify. Dr. King was the foremost civil rights leader in America in the 1950s and 1960s who was ordained minister and held a doctorate in theology. Although Kings reply was addressed to the Alabama clergyman, its target audience was the white people. To this day, Kings speech remains one of the most famous and influential speeches in. In Letter from Birmingham Jail, King implements antithesis -- along with his background as a minister -- to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the Southern clergymen, as he attempts to further diverge the two diametric rationales; thus, he creates logos as he appeals to the audiences logical side and urges African-Americans to act punctual in their fight against injustice, prompted by the imprudent words of the clergy. Martin Luther King's 'Letter From Birmingham Jail' 16 terms. Initially, the eight Birmingham clergymen are the audience and while they were not overtly racist, King uses rhetoric meant to have them understand his urgency. The main argument Dr. King is making in the letter is the protest being done in Birmingham is "wise" and most important "timely". In Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail" was this line, "We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right." King was the leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement as well as an activist for humanitarian causes. King says on page. Furthermore, good usage of these rhetorical device . Who was he truly writing for? Without King, America would be probably still heavily segregated. These two techniques played a crucial role in furthering his purpose and in provoking a powerful response from the audience that made this speech memorable and awe-inspiring. He uses parallelism by repeating I had hoped to ironically accuse his attackers. Parallelism/ Juxtaposition. These purposes can be similar, or different. Any deadline. As campaigning, King uses it in his speech in order to express all his points. Therefore this makes people see racism in a whole new light; racism has not been justified because the United States have failed to uphold their promises. King goes on to explain how this right has not been kept, making it appear to be similar to a laid-back rule. IvyMoose is the largest stock of essay samples on lots of topics and for any discipline. " Any law that degrades human personality is unjust." He does an exceptional job using both these appeals throughout his speeches by backing up his emotional appeals with logical ones. 808 certified writers . You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own . An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law." Martin Luther found himself arrested on the twelfth of April 1963 after leading a peaceful protest throughout Birmingham, Alabama after he defied a state courts injunction and led a march of black protesters without a permit, urging an Easter boycott of white-owned stores (Jr., Martin Luther King). The eight clergymen in Birmingham released a public statement of caution regarding the protesters actions as unwise and untimely (King 1), to which Martins letter is a direct response. Lines 14-43: King provides three different types of reasons in his letter to justify his presence in Birmingham: Organizational reasons, religious or historical reasons, and moral reasons. Parallelism In Letters From Birmingham Jail 172 Words1 Page Martin Luther King Jr. uses pathos and parallelism frequently throughout "Letters from Birmingham Jail," to persuade the clergyman to support his actions in the civil rights movement. In the letter, Dr. King uses ethos, diction, and allusions when defending nonviolent protest which makes his argument really strong. First, King writes that the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. This antithesis makes the audience realize that the Negroes have been left behind and ignored while the rest of modern society has charged forward into prosperity and fortune. Several clergy who negatively critiqued Kings approach of seeking justice, wrote A Call for Unity, arguing that his protests were senseless and improper. Order original paper now and save your time! In this example, King manufactures logos through the creation of antithetic parallelism, as the structure of his essay provides justification for his argument against the postponement of justice. Abused and scorned through we may be, our destiny is tied with the destiny of America. (Page 9) The sureness King presents in this quote both instills hope in the reader and allows them to relate to Kings passion. In this way, King asserts that African-Americans must act with jet-like speed to gain their independence. Bitzer, Lloyd F. The Rhetorical Situation. Philosophy & Rhetoric, vol. He points out the irony of America because Black Americans were still not truly free. After reading "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", ask your students to do a scavenger hunt using the storyboard creator. Found a perfect sample but need a unique one? Constraints bring light to the obstacles this rhetoric may face, whether it be social, political, economical, etc. Writers commonly use parallelism when there is a pair or a series of elements, or in the headlines or outlines of a document. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and, Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong leader in the Civil Rights movement, the son and grandson of a minister, and one heck of a letter writer. Thus, these essays are of lower quality than ones written by experts. King spins the constraining pressure to properly represent the movement on its head, using his rhetoric to uplift the underprivileged and leave no room in his language for criticism, proven by the continuous adoption of his messages by the public. The continuous mistreatment of African Americans for over a century was, at last, deeply questioned and challenged nationwide with the growing popularity of the Civil Rights movement, and the topic of equality for all had divided the country. Besides the use of pathos, King uses repetition to enhance the effectiveness of his argument. MLKs use of pathos and repetition is an effective way to persuade his audience about his position on civil disobedience. Your email address will not be published. At the time, Birmingham was one of the harshest places to live in America for African Americans; white supremacy groups would set off bombs to instill fear in the black community and withhold racial integration, and peaceful protests and sit-ins were met with unjustifiable police violence, in addition to the suffocating social qualms surrounding the black community (Eskew). His Letter from Birmingham Jail is a work that he wrote while incarcerated in the Birmingham City Jail in response to criticism from Alabama clergymen. Letter From Birmingham Jail and use of Parallel Structure and Anaphora Kirtan Patel Chapter 25 Chapter 24 Parallel Structure- repetition of the same pattern of words or phrases within a sentence or passage to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. Read these passages aloud, and as you do so, feel their undeniable passion and power. All of these factors influence each other to shape rhetoric, which Bitzer describes as, pragmatic; it comes into existence for the sake of something beyond itself (3), with Martin Luther Kings. However, in the months that followed, Kings powerful words were distributed to the public through civil rights committees, the press, and was even read in testimony before Congress (Letter from Birmingham Jail), taking the country by storm. Active Themes. The eight clergymen in Birmingham released a public statement of caution regarding the protesters actions as unwise and untimely (King 1), to which Martins letter is a direct response. Not only does he use pathos to humanize himself, but he also uses it to humanize his immediate audience, the eight clergymen. and may encompass the audience, as seen while analysing, The audience of a rhetorical piece will shape the rhetoric the author uses in order to appeal, brazen, or educate whoever is exposed. The clergymen along with others are addressed in an assertive tone allowing them to fully understand why his actions are justified. Wiki User 2013-03-13 02:55:46 Study now See answer (1) Copy "One has not only legal but moral responsibility to obey just. King goes on to write that he is disappointed that white moderates care less about justice and more about order. As the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s unfolded, Martin Luther King Jr. had, perhaps, the most encompassing and personal rhetorical situation to face in American history. What King discloses in his essay, Letter From Birmingham Jail, displays how the laws of segregation have affected African-Americans. An Unjust Law Is No Law At All: Excerpts from "Letter from Birmingham Jail" January 18, 2021 By The Editors In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we're sharing excerpts from King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," one of the most important moral treatises of the twentieth century. Required fields are marked *. Finally, King uses antithesis one more time at the end of his speech, when he writes when all of Gods children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands. The pairs he mentions are all the direct opposites of each other, yet he says that they will all join hands together and be friends. He wrote the letter in response to criticisms made by white clergymen. Malcolm X, on the other hand, grew up in a rather hostile environment with barely enough schooling. Whether this be by newspaper, flyers, or restated by another in speech, the spread of information is slower and potentially more controllable. King gives a singular, eloquent voice to a massive, jumbled movement. Divided there is little we can dofor we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder." - John F. Kennedy, "1961 First Inaugural Address" Emotional appeal uses intense words and charged language to grab listeners to get them to keep listening. MarkAHA. One of the challenges that he faced included being criticized because of what he believed in concerning the laws of segregation. Dr. Macbeth) in the essay title portion of your citation. He ended up creating a very persuasive letter, one that effectively uses ethos in establishing his character, logos in providing reason and logic, and pathos in reaching human emotions. While in solitary confinement for nearly 8 days, reverend and social justice activist, Martin Luther King Jr., wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in response to the criticism he received for his non-violent protests. He hopes that this letter will stop this injustice matter, and show what the African American desire. In "Letter from Birmingham Jail", King typically uses repetition in the form of anaphora - repeating the same word (s) at the beginning of consecutive clauses. Not only was this a social division, but those who opposed King were reinforced by the respective legislature that sought to burden him. Both influential speeches rely heavily on rhetorical devices to convey their purpose. In his tear-jerking, mind-opening letter, King manages to completely discredit every claim made by the clergymen while keeping a polite and formal tone. . The rhetorical choices referenced above are riddled with pathos, also known as language utilized to persuade the audience emotionally. The concept of parallelism in letters from birmingham jail by martin luther king jr.. Be sure to capitalize proper nouns (e.g. is undeniably effective at responding to the rhetorical situation at hand. It managed to inspire a generation of blacks to never give up and made thousands of white Americans bitterly ashamed of their actions, forging a new start for society. Parallelism takes many forms in literature, such as anaphora, antithesis, asyndeton, epistrophe, etc. His audience ranged between those who his message empowered, a radical positive force, and those who disagreed, made up of southern states, extremist groups, and the majority of American citizens stuck in their racial prejudices. With the use of King's rhetorical devices, he described the ways of the Birmingham community and their beliefs, connected to the reader on an emotional level, and brought to light the overall issues dealing with segregation., The letter was ostensibly conceived in response to a letter that had recently run in a local newspaper which had claimed that the protest were "unwise and untimely." Dr. King was considered the most prominent and persuasive man of The Civil Rights Movement. In the letter, King appeals for unity against racism in society, while he wants to fight for Human Rights, using ethos. Saying it that way magnifies the imperative difference between the two types of laws. Dr. Kings goal of this letter was to draw attention to the injustice of segregation, and to defend his tactics for achieving justice. Martin Luther King responds to the subjectivity of law and the issue he paramounts by using precise and impactful rhetoric from inside of his jail cell. Here, King combines divergent interpretations of justice to demonstrate the gravity of the injustice that he confronted in Birmingham. Parallelism, in the way King uses it, connects what seems like small problems to a larger issue. King provides imagery to make the audience see what it would be like to be an African American in the united, I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal. Dr. King also states that one day he would like his children to be free as whites were. The problem is that this kind of thinking can spread and infect other people to believe this is acceptable. This website uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Throughout the text, King utilized the values of his audience to gain sympathy and later on support. Order can only be held for so long whilst injustice is around. While his supporters nation-wide were avid, determined, and hopeful, they were challenged by the opposing, vastly white population, comfortable in their segregated establishments and racist ideologies who would certainly weaponize his viewpoints.