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"letter from a Birmingham Jail" Analysis

Autor:   •  January 9, 2018  •  1,402 Words (6 Pages)  •  754 Views

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church, but the church did not reach up to those expectations. In the letter, he constantly reiterated his disappointment with the church. “ I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership”, (7). The clergymen are one of the barriers in the African American’s way towards freedom. The clergymen would rather obey the law than free their fellow Christian brothers from the tight grasp of segregation. They have completely disregarded the struggles and cries of their fellow citizens. And another reason as to why King expresses disappointment with religious leaders is because they are telling the believers to accept the African Americans for the sake of following the law, but not for love, harmony, or unity. King expresses that he yearns to hear religious leaders say “follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother” (8). King uses ethos when talking about his disappointment with the church. King discusses his experience as a preacher by mentioning that he is the son, the grandson, and the great grandson of preachers. He discusses his experience as a preacher because he wants to let the church know that he is not criticizing them, but he is simply trying to help them retain their respected position. He is trying to help the church out of love and affection. “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love,”(8) King explains. In addition, King uses repetition by repeating the word “disappointed”. He uses repetition to emphasize his disappointment with the church.

In conclusion, the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” presented the viewpoints of Martin Luther King Jr. and his response to the clergymen’s criticism on his freedom movements. King eloquently wrote his letter to the clergymen addressing the need for direct action, extremism, and his disappointment with the church. King, very creatively and explicitly, wrote his letter with many changes in tone throughout the essay. His tone when referring to the clergymen was respectful because he recognized them as fellow clergymen and a higher authority in society. The overall tone in the essay was mostly disappointment, as he even emphasizes it by reiterating the word “disappointed”. And towards the end, his tone changes to hopeful and confident while he talks about the future of the African Americans as that filled with freedom and equality. “I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom”(9). Martin Luther King Jr. ends his letter with a great note, respect and hope filled in his last words.

“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear” (Aung San Suu Kyi).

"Aung San Suu Kyi Quotes." Aung San Suu Kyi Quotes (Author of Letters from Burma). N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

"Civil Rights Movement." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.


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