Letter from birmingham jail

Essay by GwelferCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2014

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Welfer 1

Griffin Welfer


English 102

19 February 2014


Dr. Martin Luther King is the poster child of strong morality. In his "Letter from Birmingham

Jail, " King exemplifies that we have a moral responsibility to not only question unjust laws but to

nonviolently protest against them. The law in question was segregation of whites and blacks. He makes

certain that we need to follow just laws, but unjust laws need to be broken because "'justice too long

delayed is justice denied'" (para 13).

Dr. King's letter is truly an impeccable example of modern rhetoric; with every point bringing a

powerful sense of logic, emotion, and credibility, he never falters to deliver each with an extended loving

hand of kinship. The exigence of his letter is a rebuttal against the letter from the clergymen, telling him

his fight for freedom was unwise and untimely. The logos present in Dr. King's paper is really the glue

that holds it all together. Like a path through a dark forest, on either side is unkept untamed wilderness,

but in front is a path which will lead one through to the end. Logos is the pathway through a paper.

Sure, there are some forks in the road where pathos and ethos are the correct ways to turn, but they

always return back to logos in the end. King crafts multiple points of beautiful logos throughout his letter

as he addresses the naysayer, twists the ideas of negative labeling, and states the difference between just

and unjust laws. He manages to establish a strong sense of logic in what most viewed as an emotionally

heavy issue.

Early in the letter, Dr. King makes an important move by addressing the naysayer. He does this

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to show his opponents that he has thought...