In response, King drafted a letter that would end up being essential to the Civil Rights movement and roved lasting inspiration to the struggle for racial equality. This letter, which became to be know as the “Letter From Birmingham Jail” discuses the Immorality of unjust laws as well as what a “Just” law Is. He warns of the Increasing probability of the African American resorting to extreme disorder and bloodshed, In Dalton to his disappointment with the church who, In his pollen, had not lived up to their responsibilities as people of God.
Marin Luther King Jar. ‘s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” uses emotional and logical appeals in response to criticism from white allergen of his actions, and though in jail King explains in an open, personal, diplomatic, heartfelt and completely inoffensive manner why he believes in the validity for civil disobedience and for nonviolent action. Kings letter, designed to refute the response of the clergymen, actually addresses a wider audience; the group of eight clergymen and the American population.
White or black, educated or not, Americans can connect with King as he sits, writing his letter from jail, unfairly and unjustly imprisoned for a nonviolent demonstration. He does not write with hate in is words, nor with anger, but with well thought words weighted with a hint of frustration. He demonstrates this by describing his “disappointment” in the “hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause. ” Martin Luther King not only addresses these clergymen, but does so on their terms. He speaks directly to these men, using statements such as “You deplore the demonstrations… And muff speak of our activity… ” To single them out. Kings use of questions allows for a more personal, thought provoking response to both the clergymen and the wider audience. Questions such as “Why direct action? Why sit Ins, marches and so forth? ” implores the reader to think for him or herself. King is creating a discussion, a conversation, which makes the letter seem less derogatory well still making his views and Justifications very clear. He uses rhetorical strategies of both logical and emotional language that Invoke a sense of these men’s hypocrisy.
He writes that he has “wept over the laxity of the church” and how he sees the “church as the body of Christ. But, Oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists. (King) Though King Is writing In response to the crystals of the clergymen, he still emphasizes his respect for them. He writes of how he seldom pauses to answer crystals of his work or Ideas, but because he feels that they are “men of genuine good will” and that their “criticisms are sincerely set forth” he wants to try and answer their concerns.
King’s letter uses a voice of conversation, and calls others to join his voice. Margaret winnable cordless now we nave Eden connectional to salt Ana Olsten to toners how we have been instructed to be quite allowing others to determine what we think (312). This mental and physical silence is exactly what King wants to fight. His conversational writing allows for his audience to think about what he has said and to, for themselves, decide it’s value. The application of Mimi may,” “We have,” and “We should,” further deepens the personal connection that he is attempting to establish with his readers.
He is not Just blandly reciting his ideas and views on issues, but is, in a matter, discussing with his audience why he believes what he does. King does this by asking questions, expressing both sides of the issue and then giving his answer and Justification for that answer. An example of this is can be seen in this excerpt. In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? King) This openness with his audience allows King to better establish a connection to them. In an essay by John Guiana called “Speaking Personally,” Guiana analyses the landscape of his fathers and his conversations. He talks about how he was not as open with his father as his father was to him and how cause of this there was a “chasm” between them (317) Martin Luther King Jar. , was first and foremost a preacher. His letter could have been Just as effective had it been given as a speech.
Each sentence carries with it the power of voice, as though it was spoken from behind the pulpit. Kings use of flowing language allows the reader to keep moving through the information, allowing his ideas and arguments to smoothly transition from one idea to the next. King moves to issues by referring to, and often supporting the concerns of the clergymen. Mimi express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. ” (King) Writing in this manner King is able to make his rebuttals less off personal attack.
Though he disagrees with the clergymen, he is not attacking them personally, but trying to guide them to the same conclusions and ideals that he has reached. He wishes to gain support, not hurt his cause, and uses language that will not alienate groups from Joining with him. King, being in a position power among the civil rights movement, knew that many people believed in him and his message. In his “l Have a Dream” speech he speaks with a more reassuring and rallying tone. King had no need to try and convince them of his cause, those in attendance already agreed with him.
He knew that his letter would reach a wider and less convinced audience. Though written to the clergymen, King was actually speaking to all Americas. He was speaking to the blacks and the whites, the poor and the rich, the liberal and the conservative. He speaks to every American through the use of specific channels such as the clergymen. King focuses more on logical appeals when focusing on his response to the clergymen; according to SST. Martins Handbook, logical appeals are viewed as principally dependable.
King knew that the clergymen, more often highly educated, would be more receptive to logical arguments then the average American. He tailors his arguments, sighting literature, history, philosophy and religion. He sights people such as of the Jewish philosopher Martin Auber, SST. Augustine, Socrates, Reinhold Nibbler, John Bunyan, Abraham Lincoln and SST. Paul and events such as “everything Doll Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian Treetop Tattlers 010 In Hungary was “Illegal ” I nose logical appeals Nell to reinforce Kings authority and logically legitimate his views.
King also uses emotional appeals to reach the broader American public. He describes how some of his “white brothers” have “languished in filthy, roach infested Jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as ‘dirty Niger-lovers. ” Vivid imagery such as this brings emotional energy to the letter and pulls at the heartstrings of all who read it. In the letter, King not only the draws attention to the shortcomings of the church but also the moderate whites. He expresses his disappointment in the white moderates and calls them the “Negroes great stumbling lock. (King) He describes them as those “who are more devoted to ‘order’ then to justice; who prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of Justice. ” (King) He is speaking to all who believe in the civil rights cause, but do nothing, or the “do-nothings” of complacency. This is Kings plea to the masses. Though King is on one end of the spectrum, with white supremacist on the other end, a vast majority of Americans were in-fact in the middle.
Many Americans believed in the cause but did nothing, which was in Kings pinion one of the true hinderers of social progress. King is pleading with, trying to convince them to stand up for what they believe in, instead of keeping their complacent silence. King’s explanation to the eight clergymen for protesting segregation began with a explanation of their actions, “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. King uses logical appeals to explain. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in he mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. (King) King explained in his letter how the actions of the African Americans were overdue and well planed.
Their quest was to force the white politicians to negotiate and actually follow the requests for desegregation. Past promises have been broken by the politicians and merchants of Birmingham and now is the time to fulfill the natural right of all people to be treated equal. ” (King) Violence is not what King wants; he simply wants unjust laws to change and the Supreme Courts 1954 ruling upheld. Secondly, King answers the clergyman’s assertion that breaking the law is not the way to achieve the results that he is looking for. He draws on a religious source, knowing that it will hold greater sway with the clergymen then another source would.
He states, “Conversely, one has a moral accessibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with SST. Augustine that, an unjust law is no law at all”. Laws are made to protect the people, not to demean and punish. As far as King is concerned, the African American will continue to do whatever is necessary, preferably non-violently, to obtain the legal and moral right that is theirs. Ultimately, the frustration King felt was with the church in general. “In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. There can be no deep disappointment where there in not deep love. (King) Being a man of the church this s probably the strongest emotional appeal that King makes, emphasizing his love for ten concur anon ten Dearly Tanat en reels. I enough en makes numerous Montreal appeals throughout the letter, Kings hard words about the church are the most heartfelt of any. He calls out something close the heart of many Americans including himself, their faith. He believes that the Church has skirted its responsibilities to the African American people, hiding behind “anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows” (King).