A Letter From Birmingham Jail

Essay by jpkey6High School, 12th gradeA-, December 2014

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Jonathan Key

ENG 1302.P06

Dr. Gary Wilson

30 October 2014

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "A Letter from Birmingham Jail" was written in the margins of a letter posted by the clergymen of Alabama that sparked his interest and while he resided in the jail cell for marching without a permit. This time allowed him the ability to respond wholeheartedly to this cynical oppressing. King's letter addresses specific issues presented by the Clergymen and this direct response distinguishes King's strong points through his powerful writing. Unprincipled and immoral allusions came to the attention of Dr. King through the letter, in which he expresses his different opinions and defends his ideals and actions through Aristotle's three rhetorical devices, ethos, logos, and pathos.

First and foremost, King establishes credibility to initiate his strong counter-argument introducing himself as "The President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

… with eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights" (King). This title not only puts King into a position of prestige but also provides proof that he is well traveled in the south and has deep understanding of the struggles within to create such a strong opposition. As King states that he's traveled through the "length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi, and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings" he defends his credibility further because not only did King travel through these states but on multiple occasions in different seasons, and even deeper in different trials than may have been presented. Furthermore, throughout the letter, King references the Bible, presidents, and writers to establish not only his educated intelligence, but also his zeal for righteousness and his...