Martin Luther King Jar. Was an activist during the Civil Rights Movement. In 1963 he wrote a “Letter from a Birmingham Jail to address his fellow clergymen. King uses diction and appeals to pathos to tell the clergymen and the black community that waiting is no longer an option if they want segregation to end. In the “Letter”, King uses associations of something that can be created or possibly false to show that letting time pass by will not help end segregation.
King refers to time as “the myth” (paragraph 21). This shows that people often think time will heal all wounds, but King thinks otherwise. In order for colored people to end their oppression, they must “act more effectively” (paragraph 21). King also refers to time as “destructively or constructively” (paragraph 21). This displays that time can either be good or bad the same way a myth can be true or false.
If colored people wait then they will have almost no chance at ending their oppression.
A Letter From Birmingham Jail Essay Sample
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Mlk Letter From Birmingham Jail Analysis
King appeals to pathos to get across the message that waiting is not an option. He describes seeing “hate filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill your black brothers and sisters” (paragraph 12). This is pathos because it is meant to his black community audience angry. Their own law enforcement is taking part in the violent acts towards black people, and this will urge them to fight back instead of doing nothing.
King also writes, “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away” (paragraph 39). This is King’s way of bringing together the clergymen and the black community. By saying ” hope” it makes the audiences feel like segregation can be ended even though it is really bad. If the audiences are hopeful, then they will not want to sit around and wait for it to be over, they will take action. King’s word choice and appeal to pathos helps him convey his message of taking action to end segregation.