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how the rhetorical techniques martin luther king jr used in his letter from birmingham jail contributed and expanded his message

Question: How do King’s rhetorical techniques and definition methods argue to the white majority to end racial segregation through ethical and emotional appeals?

Instruction: In a paragraphed essay centered on a thesis with concrete support, analyze these highlights of King’s letter rebutting his fellow clergymen’s public accusations. How do King’s rhetorical techniques and definition methods argue to the white majority to end racial segregation through ethical and emotional appeals?How does he get the audience to feel pain and understand? Discuss only passages below. Focus points by ideas NOT by techniques (details).

The Passages to get the answers and quotes from:

One of the basic points in your statement is that our acts are untimely. I have never engaged in a non-violent direct-action movement that was “well timed” according to the timetable of those who have not suffered from the disease of segregation. We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed, but we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your brothers and sisters at whim; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised, and see tears welling up in her eyes and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?” When you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”; then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. (196)

You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. I would agree with Saint Augustine that “An unjust law is no law at all.” A just law is a man- made code that squares with the moral law. An unjust law is out of harmony with the moral law. So I can urge men to disobey segregation ordinances because they are morally wrong. (197)

At first I was disappointed that fellow clergymen would my nonviolent efforts as those of the extremist. But I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist. Was not Jesus an extremist for love? And Abraham Lincoln—“This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist— “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Maybe the South, the nation, and the world are in dire need of creative extremists. (201)

Before closing, I am impelled to mention one other point that troubled me profoundly. I don’t believe you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen the dogs literally biting six unarmed nonviolent Negroes in city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys. I’m sorry that I can’t join you in your praise for the police department. (205)

Never before have I written a letter this long. I’m afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. It would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when you are alone for days in a narrow jail cell other than write long letters, think strange thoughts, and pray long prayers? (206)

Just some more information.

It does not have to be 2 pages or any specific word count.

The quotes have to come directly from the letter. No outside sources.

No specific length. Just about 3 body paragraphs. about half a page long each please.

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