Rhetorical Devices In Letter From Birmingham Jail

Martin Luther King has contributed to the development of African American self-identification. He has created an essential space for enhancing the position of the entire community and decreasing real racial discrimination. Several documents proclaim King’s stance on non-violent protest and the importance of equality in U.S. society. Letter from a Birmingham Jail illustrates the long and complicated road to freedom and power of the pacific movement with the implication of strong ethos, pathos, and logos, and such powerful rhetorical devices like metaphors, allusions, and repetitions.

From the perspective of rhetorical analysis, Letter from a Birmingham Jail is a unique document that involves several efficient devices and motifs that help to influence the comprehension of the audience and mirror the significance of the depicted problem. Martin Luther King masterfully exploits the concepts of ethos, pathos, and logos in his work to strengthen its effects. He appeals to the readers with moral ideas, emotional context, and essential facts. Although King does not use ethos directly, he draws some crucial aspects that prove his credibility and authority in the discussed question.

He admits that the received criticism pieces are worth responding: “But since I feel that you are men of genuine goodwill and your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I would like to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms” (King 1). When the author demonstrates respect to his opponent, he enhances his authority and integrity. Throughout the entire letter, King utilizes factual evidence and moral principles to respond to the criticism.

At the same time, there is no representation of anger or irritation in his words. Per contra, each of King’s arguments mirrors confidence and reliability.

Emotional appeal, or pathos, is a fundamental strength of the analyzed work. Letter from a Birmingham Jail illustrates the suffering of African American people. King’s heartfelt request to humankind to help to reduce the inequality is based on the factual issues of physical and mental discrimination of the racial minority. There are several power lines in the document that aim to awaken the emotions and sympathy of the audience: “…and see tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children” (King 2). These words impress the reader and encourage the feeling of compassion and empathy. At the same time, King uses the techniques of inspiring the people of color and provides the insight of hope. The closing lines of the letter are essential elements of pathos. These represent the idea of striving and hoping for a better future.

Another significant component of the letter is logos that enhances the power and credibility of the entire message. King operates with facts and logical arguments in his writing. He focuses on the present-day political and social situation. The author aims to defend the value of non-violent protest when building his ideas logically. There are several illustrations of a discriminative and cruel attitude to the people of color: “There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in this nation” (King 1). It is also essential to note the way King designs the sentences and paragraphs. All thoughts are connected that creates a complete picture of events. Step by step, the letter opens up the most important issues of racial discrimination and emphasizes the facts that prove the existence of the problem. It is also crucial that the author develops the opinion uniquely when connecting more real-life situations and events to the subject.

It is also necessary to discuss some rhetorical techniques and devices used by Martin Luther King. The author masterfully uses metaphors throughout the text to enhance its power and influence on the audience. This device allows depicting the painful and sorrowful life of segregated people. The author attempts to demonstrate the rapid speed of changes and revolutionary events: “I had the strange feeling when I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery several years ago that we would have the support of the white church” (King 5). At the same time, these lines conduct the idea that the U.S. is mature enough for accepting these transformations. The metaphors help King to make the text comprehensive and understandable for different types of audience and stimulate the emotional response. It is interesting to focus on the closing part of the letter where metaphors inspire the reader’s thinking and analyzing the described events.

The creation of specific allusions and references to particular events, pieces of literature, and personalities is a typical feature of the King’s speeches and letters. Specifically, the author mentions religious figures and suggests various Christian ideas. It corresponds to his philosophy and role of religious concepts in the development of the movement and its core principles. The importance of love and equality in Christianity is mirrored in the letter by using references to the Bible and other Holy texts. King also mentions the value of religious heritage and the necessity of defending the ideas of truth, love, and respect to people of all races. In this way, he also supports the non-violent method of protesting as the opposition to evil and injustice. King also draws some analogies and historical links to enhance the credibility of the text.

Repetitions and rhetorical questions are also significant components of the text that contribute to its reliability and emotiveness. King uses them to attract the attention of the audience to the African American non-violent protest as a response to the cruel discriminative attitude. These devices help to highlight the blatant cases of injustice experienced by people of color. The continuous repetition of “I” emphasizes the position of the author and his confidence. It is also interesting that King often creates short sentences that sound powerfully and strict. In this way, he may attempt to render the idea of the unshakable civil rights movement.

In conclusion, Martin Luther King focuses on the combination of logical arguments and powerful emotional appeal when creating the analyzed document. Letter from a Birmingham Jail includes several capable rhetorical devices such as metaphors, analogies, allusions, repetitions, and other specific tools for enhancing the influence of the text on the audience and accurate transmission of the ideas of equality, freedom, and reduction of discrimination for African Americans. King successfully develops ethos, pathos, and logos of the letter that makes it an important written monument of the civil rights movement.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with Boom Grades
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Thank you so much this looks great !!!!
Customer 452585, November 4th, 2023
Religious studies
I recommend this service they always help. I got an A in this project thanks.
Customer 452507, October 5th, 2021
Classic English Literature
Great Work as Usual. Thank you . I received an A on the paper!
Customer 452531, November 9th, 2021
Classic English Literature
Awesome Job... you are the best!
Customer 452531, November 27th, 2021
English comp
Got a 94% thank you!
Customer 452509, June 27th, 2021
English 101
perfect! thanks!
Customer 452543, December 1st, 2021
Classic English Literature
Absolutely LOVE the essay I received. I really appreciate it so much.
Customer 452529, October 25th, 2021
Public Health
Thank you so much !!
Customer 452589, November 28th, 2023
Great content.
Customer 452549, February 8th, 2022
world civilization
Thank you for the quick response
Customer 452509, June 27th, 2021
Absolutely LOVE having help especially from the person who wrote this last one. THANK YOU
Customer 452529, November 19th, 2021
english comp
Great paper and done before the deadline. Thank you
Customer 452509, June 15th, 2021
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat