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Analysis Of Letter From A Birmingham Jail

1162 words - 5 pages

In the year of 1963, Martin Luther King was imprisoned for peacefully marching in a parade as a nonviolent campaign against segregation. In Martin Luther King’s essay “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the paragraphs that have the most emotional appeal are, just as the critics say, paragraphs thirteen and fourteen. King tugs at the reader’s emotions in these specific paragraphs using very detailed examples about the difficult, heart-wrenching misfortunes that have happened to the African American society and what they had to endure on a daily basis in Birmingham by using metaphors, contrasts, alliteration, anaphora, and imagery. As taken from an excerpt of “MLK - Letter From A Birmingham Jail,” In paragraphs thirteen and fourteen of Letter from Birmingham Jail, King reaches emotional highs and lows with the pinnacle in paragraph fourteen.” With that being said, there are many reasons as to why these paragraphs have the most emotional appeal throughout the whole letter.
Paragraph thirteen is one of the paragraphs that have the most emotional appeal. The first sentence of paragraph thirteen King says, “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” By saying that, we know that the oppressors did not want to give the oppressed, who in this scenario was the African Americans, any freedom and they had to fight for their freedom. They had to demand their equality. King uses a very cognitive metaphor, “disease of segregation.” He directly refers to segregation as a disease, an infection. In paragraph thirteen, he also says “We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."” (Paragraph 13) King implies that he knows that if it has taken this long to stop or do something about the injustice of segregation, that it is not important enough to be stopped. He makes several good points and uses such wording in this paragraph that really affects the reader.
In King’s letter, paragraph fourteen is an essential paragraph that brings out the most affecting and sentimental emotions than any other paragraph throughout the entire letter. It is also in this paragraph where he has the longest sentence throughout his whole letter. King states his personal reason for the need of social change. He uses his words in such a way that it really affects the reader and creates a feeling of sorrow and melancholy. King explains that the white community puts off helping the black community because they do not feel the agonizing pain that poor innocent African American’s feel and they do not have to go through what the African Americans go through everyday by saying “I guess it’s easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say “wait.””(Paragraph 14)
King continues on by affecting the reader, on an emotional level, by going through and explaining some of the unending amount of torturous events that the black...

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