Martin Luther King's "Letter From A Birmingham Jail" Analytical Essay by Master Writers

Martin Luther King's "Letter From A Birmingham Jail"
This paper presents rhetorical analysis of King's work entitled, "Letter From A Birmingham Jail."
# 16618 | 1,240 words | 0 sources | 2002 | US

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The paper begins with a background to the letter and a synopsis of its main points. It looks at the three different audiences that the letter intends to address, explores the tone of authority used by King and discusses the moral and political statements he uses in his defense. The effectiveness of King's appeal to the emotions of his fellow black American countrymen is also dealt with. The paper concludes by investigating the elements of "ethos" (appeals based on validity and character) and the elements of "pathos" (appeals to emotions) contained in the letter.

From the Paper:

"Martin Luther King Jr.'s letter from Birmingham Jail, which was written in April 16, 1963, is a passionate letter that addresses and responds to the issue and criticism that a group of white clergymen had thrown at him and his pro- black American organization about his and his organization's non- violent demonstrative actions against racial prejudice and injustice among black Americans in Birmingham. King writes the letter to defend his organization's actions and the letter is also an appeal to the people, both the white and black American society, the social, political, and religious community, and the whole of American society to encourage desegregation and encourage solidarity and equality among all Americans, with no stratification according to racial differences.
King's letter from Birmingham Jail addresses the American society, particularly the political and religious community of the American society. Specifically, King's letter addresses three important groups in the American society: the white American political community, white American religious community, and the black American society. King addressed these communities as the primary groups wherein racial segregation is continuously proliferated (the white American political and religious community) and points much of his arguments to and for his fellow black Americans in the society. King's main thesis in writing the Birmingham letter is that, racial segregation, or injustice to the black American society, is due to the continuous encouragement of the white American society, particularly the powerful communities in politics and religions. King defends his primary thesis all throughout the length of his letter, and the arguments that he has made to prove that his thesis is true and valid will be the focus of this rhetorical analysis.
In addressing and confronting the problem of injustices among the black Americans in the American society, particularly the violence that had happened in Birmingham, and generally, the inequality and racial prejudice happening in his American society, King argues his position by using both moral, social, and political references and logic for his arguments to be considered valid and agreeable. The response desired in his letter is agreement and appeal for the part of the white American society to abolish segregation and discontinue the injustices happening to his fellow black Americans, while King appeals to his black American fellowmen for unity and solidarity, which is an essential factor for their cause to be achieved (that is, the prevention and eventual abolishment of racial prejudice, inequality, and injustice."

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Martin Luther King's "Letter From A Birmingham Jail" (2003, January 24) Retrieved September 20, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Martin Luther King's "Letter From A Birmingham Jail"" 24 January 2003. Web. 20 September. 2019. <>