An Analysis of Letter from a Birmingham Jail Essay
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Letter from a Birmingham Jail was written by Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. in April of 1963, as he sat, as the title states, in a Birmingham, Alabama jail. King had been jailed for his participation in a peaceful protest of segregation in public places such as lunch counters and public restrooms (Berkley, 2003). While jailed, King read a criticism of the protest by a group of white ministers, who felt such demonstrations “directed and in part led by outsiders” were “unwise and untimely”, suggesting that blacks should wait for the court system to work. (Statement by Alabama clergymen, 1963). Dr. King’s letter was written as a response to the criticism (King, 1963). The following pages will analyze Letter from a…show more content…
#Particularly poignant are his comments concerning children, where he says
##…when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; (King, 1963).
## Considering Dr. King is writing to clergymen, his emotional appeal may not have only been to elicit sympathy or empathy from his detractors, but cause some shame as well, when he expresses his disappointment with them. He indicates that because of their religious beliefs, they should be taking a proactive stance on the side of justice, rather than supporting the status quo because it is orderly (King, 1963). “Logical arguments consist of a set of premises or statements of evidence that lead to conclusions” (Kies, 1995). Dr King appeals to logic and reason
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail Essay
1149 Words5 Pages
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail
Martin Luther King Jr. writes the Clergymen that have written him a letter disputing his actions in Birmingham. King is disturbed and offended by the Clergymen disagreeing with his purpose in Birmingham. King say he normally does not respond to criticism because it would waste to much precious time, but since these were men of good will he wanted to give his answers to their statements. In King's letter he appeals to many emotions as pathos, ethos, and logos to appeal to his audience.
King starts his letter by saying ?While confined here in the Birmingham city jail.? This is important because King is making a strong point right away in his letter. He is saying they…show more content…
An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.? The Clergymen express great concern over King is willingness to break laws. King replies that this is an understandable concern since everyone follows the Supreme Court Decision of 1954 that states; public schools are not to be segregated. In other words King is saying the Supreme Court can hand down a just law and yet people do not obey it but yet they expect me to obey an unjust law. In Germany under Adolf Hitler every thing he did was ?legal? and the freedom fighters in Hungry did everything ?illegally?. Aiding a Jew under Hitler was considered ?illegal?. Because these things were legal did that make it right? No. Should people have obeyed these laws? No. These laws were made to suppress a group of people simple because of there religion. This is much like the segregation in the United States is it right because it is the law? No. Should these laws be followed? No.
Emotional feelings are felt through out the paper. A main emotional appeal king makes is when he is talking about his kids. When he is talking about his daughter and how she wanted to go to the new amusement park and how he would have to tell her that they could not because they were colored and colored people were not allowed. Also when he would have to answer his son?s question ?Why do white people treat colored people so mean?? King is hurt by having to answer these difficult questions posed by his own