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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

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King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”As a civil rights activist, Dr.

This is not a threat: it is a fact of history.” (Paragraph 30)

Contrast: Repressed emotions in nonviolent acts/ominous expressions of violence + expressions of violence/not a threat/fact of history

Antithesis in Letter From Birmingham Jail
“We will be extremists for hate, of will we be extremists for love?

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The process I have just described is somewhat paradoxical, since prophecy and argumentation ordinarily are assigned to different realms of activity. But perhaps the time has come for argumentation scholars to become more comfortable with paradoxes that shift categories and stimulate new and unexpected connections. With the decline of the formal deductive model and the essentialism associated with it, we can hardly expect our critical apparatus to stay quietly in place and support our old disciplinary assumptions. Thus, for example, Trudy Govier’s logically focused study of the tu quoque appeal has led her to the discovery “that the force of an argument depends quite properly on more than its propositional content” (1999:20). Likewise my study of the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” has led me to conclude that there is more to rhetorical evocation than time, chance, and imagery. Govier, I take it, still has an imperfect understanding of the non-propositional things that contribute to the force of an argument, and I confess an almost boundless ignorance about how dialectical argument constrains and enables rhetorical persuasion. What does seem beyond doubt is that we have something to learn from one another, and I suspect that the leaning will proceed faster and better if we attend to cases – and not to simple or obviously flawed cases – but to those that exhibit the best practices of argument. These are the cases that we most need to consider if we want to make the theory of argumentation not just an instrument for correcting errors of reasoning but a flexible, constructive resource for conducting the public business of scholars and citizens.

Martin Luther King’s “Letters from Birmingham Jail”, 2012.

Two of his pieces that stand out the most, was the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream”.

But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And : "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "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. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

But what is the relationship between evocation and argumentation? Clark suggests that the connection is not particularly strong, since the force of the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” results from selecting the right metaphor at the right time under the right circumstances. That view, however, does not answer the question of how King was able to deploy that metaphor effectively, and when we consider the image involved in this case, the question becomes especially important. The prophetic voice comes from within the people it criticizes; it incarnates what is highest and best in the society and summons others to act on standards that the speaker shares with the listeners. The prophet is not an outsider or an observer, but a member of the tribe, and so to be a prophet among the Hebrews one must be a Hebrew. And to be a prophet among American white moderates? That is not a role that King inherits by birth or gains through any easy access. He must argue himself into it, and his letter is well designed for that purpose. It constructs arguments that connect the author and the audience even in the presence of disagreement between them, and it speaks in ways that enact and embody the persona of a good deliberator. And once he can plausibly assume the role of deliberator, King is better able to position himself to speak from within the culture of his audience. I do not mean to say that this process is strictly linear – that argumentation is a first step and that evocation can come only after the arguments have done their work. The two seem to work together in a more interactive and less clearly demarcated fashion: As the force of King’s argument accumulates, the evocative power of the text becomes more apparent, but as this evocation becomes more powerful, King’s arguments assume greater clarity and force. Whatever the order of this relationship, however, I think it clear that it does develop within the text and that King’s considerable achievement in speaking effectively as a prophet to a white audience is somehow related to the credentials that he establishes as a dialectician.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail.

His diction, voice, and his passion for equality create a very powerful message in his Letter From Birmingham Jail.

For example, towards the start of the letter, Luther explains the reasons behind his travelling to Birmingham to protest and consequently end up in jail.

Examples
of Antithesis in "Letter
from a Birmingham Jail." - "Injustice anywhere is a threat
to justice everywhere" Examples of Antithesis
(cont.) "They are still all too few in quantity, but
they are big in quality." Examples of Antithesis
(Cont.) "Everybody doesn't like something, but
nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" What is its effect?

Letter from Birmingham jail.
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    Letter from Birmingham Jail

  • Examples Of Antithesis In Letter From Birmingham Jail

    Antithesis in the letter from birmingham jail

  • Martin Luther King's: The Letter From Birmingham Jail.

    Antithesis in mlk letter from birmingham jail west …

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Antithesis in mlk letter from birmingham jail west springfield

Two of his pieces stand out as his greatest works, Letter from Birmingham City Jail; a letter written from a jail in Birmingham where he was arrested for demonstrating peacefully, to clergymen who didn't agree with his views, and I Have a Dream; a speech given by King in front of the Washington Memorial at a huge civil rights tea party.

antithesis used in letter from birmingham

"This response to a published statement by eight fellow clergymen from Alabama (Bishop C. C. J. Carpenter, Bishop Joseph A. Durick, Rabbi Hilton L. Grafman, Bishop Paul Hardin, Bishop Holan B. Harmon, the Reverend George M. Murray, the Reverend Edward V. Ramage and the Reverend Earl Stallings) was composed under somewhat constricting circumstances. Begun on the margins of the newspaper in which the statement appeared while I was in jail, the letter was continued on scraps of writing paper supplied by a friendly Negro trusty, and concluded on a pad my attorneys were eventually permitted to leave me. Although the text remains in substance unaltered, I have indulged in the author's prerogative of polishing it for publication." ()

Rhetorical devices in Letter From A Birmingham Jail - …

Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?

FREE Rhetorical Analysis- Letter from a Birmingham Jail …

Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to takeyour precioustime. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from acomfortabledesk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than writelong letters,think long thoughts and pray long prayers?

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