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Interpretation of Martin Luther King's Letter from Jail - Essay Example

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Martin Luther King’s "A letter from Birmingham jail" was a response to the statement published by fellow eight clergymen from Alabama who criticized Martin Luther for participation and organization of the protest against Birmingham segregation…
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Interpretation of Martin Luther Kings Letter from Jail
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"Interpretation of Martin Luther King's Letter from Jail"

Download file to see previous pages The central ideas of the letter: love and justice, can be seen from the first lines of Martin Luther King’s letter. He tries to disapprove accusation of not being a Birmingham insider. Martin Luther King claims that he had an invitation to Birmingham and had managerial ties as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s president. In addition, he did not consider himself as Birmingham outsider because of the fact that everyone who live within the territorial boundaries of the United States of America could not be referred to as outsiders. This justifies the justice and love idea of Martin Luther King’s letter. Martin Luther King’s letter focuses on nonviolent resistant defense to racism; Martin Luther King argues in the letter that people have a moral responsibility to resist unjust laws. This shows the commitment of Martin Luther King to advocate love and justice to the people of America. The letter though experienced an early setback; it enjoyed a broad publication and was considered the major text for the civil rights movement in the United States in the early 1960s. Martin Luther King responded through his letter to the call for unity and acted as a declaration to fight racial inequality. This again supports the thesis of this paper: the significance of love and justice in using appeals to logic, emotion and ethics. The "Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King literary puts into terms his life thesis statement. Martin Luther King illustrated meticulously his reasoning through the use of appeals to emotion, logic, and ethics. A logical appeal is that which utilizes facts, reason and documented evidence to drive a point. Martin Luther King makes in his letter a logical appeal where he responds to being referred to as an extremist. King does this by asserting that majority of historical figures that are today considered heroes were perceived as extremist in their time. Martin Luther King mentions people like Thomas Jefferson, Apostle Paul, Jesus Christ and Abraham Lincoln (549). In this particular aspect, King uses facts and reason to put across a logical appeal to the reader: if he is considered an extremist because of campaigning for freedom, then all the other people are extremists as well. Martin Luther King cites an illustration of this by pointing out the manner in which the police at Birmingham mistreated the protesters (522). Although he does not in particular cite a source, the event was publicized widely. Martin Luther King uses evidence to invalidate the accusations by the clergymen. He also uses firsthand accounts in illustrating his points. King talks about the way he expected the white religious leaders to provide aid, but found opposition and reluctance instead (550). Martin Luther King states his arguments through providing firsthand account of his real experience. This however relies on the perception of the writer in order to be useful. Credibility is needed for this reason. In order to obtain credibility, explanations as to why things are done in a particular way must be given. Martin Luther King begins his letter by informing readers that he is writing the letter (540-541). Informing readers the reason for particular writings gives the readers insight to the real meaning of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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