Thesis for martin luther king jr letter from birmingham jail

Eng 1a 8- Nathan Ramirez 1. The thesis is Dr. King is tired of waiting and wants to take direct action 2. The type of argument is value and policy. King employs repetition to emphasize his thesis by providing a bulk of similar evidence. The audience is clergymen of Birmingham. King writes them to explain why he decided to take direct action in the form of peaceful protest.

The letter from Birmingham give insight on the social injustices of that time period and is a perfect example of a fully functional and peaceful reformation. Response to MLK April 16 speech This very powerful speech is a side of a very big argument, which is supported by facts. One of the biggest arguments in the United States history is the segregation of the black people during the life the Martin Luther King Jr. The facts the Dr. This was a real life issue that affected everyday life, among all people; it was hard on either side to make sure that the line of separation was not crossed.

The thesis has numerous supportive evidence throughout the letter. King is creating example after example of experiments showing that an unjust law is easy to identify from a just law. He talks about the moral side of the law, the humane side of the law, the biblical side of the law, and in each scenario he tears down the flimsy excuse that the hide behind. The action taken against Dr. Here Dr. King is six years later, still trying to get people to reason with the law.

He refers to the Greek philosophers and the bible as references that support his just truth. He references these two types of laws, throughout the entire speech, he touches on every aspect and characteristic of the angles of each.

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King keeps readers interested by applying numerous analogies to achieve his goal, which is to present the truth in an appealing way, by ripping away all excuses to ignore and defy it. He uses what he knows, which is why as a Baptist minister uses biblical, and historical references, knowing that the clergymen that this letter was aimed at originally, would have a hard time ignoring the biblical implications of their actions. This is the same subject brothers killed each other over in the civil war, a diluted version of the subject that killed President Abraham Lincoln. So he was right in standing up for something that even his violent death could not change completely.

He died for someithing he believed in. What type of argument is this? King argues that that we have a moral responsibility to lobby and make sure the laws that are being created, the ones that are being used to 'keep society safe' are just to all. He also makes an argument that we as people have to start looking out for each other as a community and moves away from the thinking just about ourself, that an unjust act towards your neighbor is a an injustice to yourself. Identify the Thesis The main thesis of the speech is to explain to the leaders of the churches why he is first in Birmingham.

He wants to explain to them his moral obligation and duty and what action King will take. King uses repetition to emphasize his message. He also uses analogizes, biblical and historical references, to emphasize that what he is preaching is moral correct. The intended audience members are the white clergymen who have chosen to conform to the norm of the time. These clergymen have also been highly critical of Martin Luther King Jr. He writes to them in hope of reminding them that they have a moral obligation and duty to persuade them to joining his efforts.

What about this letter gives it universal reach and appeal? The Letter from Birmingham have universal appeal because King dared to speak truthfully about what was going on in the south, something that many people dared to do at the time. He could no longer wait for the clergymen of the south to lag behind. King was trying to inspire and remind people why he and others worked hard to make sure that everyone had the same rights as everyone else.

These answers are not organized by number; they will be within the summary. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me on the phone I really appreciated The Letter from Birmingham Jail was written by Martin Luther King on Martin Luther king has been known for been one of the most important and influential leaders on the American civil rights struggle. Martin Luther King wrote the letter from the city jail in Birmingham.

He had been arrested after a peaceful protest against segregation. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. In this statement, they acknowledge the fact that injustice was happening but they criticized and oppose the necessity of the actions taken by the King. They strongly believed that the battle against segregation should be fought in courts and not in the streets.

On Kings response, the main thesis was the idea that without forceful, direct actions, such as his, true civil rights could never be achieved. This masterpiece is very important for a lot of reasons. This proves a very calm and pacific attitude in his defense. As well he avoids harsh words against the whites. This was useful to appeal white audiences. In addition, King was wise and effective enough to use the emotions to appeal to the audience. He illustrated the sermons and speeches from the Bible, and this seems to have helped King create highly emotional writings to appeal to different audiences.

The reason this is so important is because as a Reverend he knew the influence that religion had at that time in the society. As well he used the word God in a very substantial way. One of the reasons why the use of religion is so important in this peace is because he clearly believes that Christian religion is equality and mutual respect. He says as well that white and black people are both children of God. A very important approach in the letter is when he compares himself Apostle Paul saying that he is going to carry the gospel of freedom to the places beyond his native town.

He did this for two reasons, the first one he could reach everyone though the church and the last one and most important one that was taking a sacred mission and he was expecting the support of everyone. Including the white ones. The emotional strength makes this a great piece of literature; his message is passionate, sensational and very clear. The repetition of his arguments and specific words are done in order to awake the emotions of the audience.

It is a peace of literature that touches everyone and makes people think about injustice and indifference. Hassan Moore. The thesis of this letter was that a just society can not be formed unless injustice is challenged, and that society can not grow without just conflict against immorality. That freedom from oppression must be fought for, because it will only come as a result of decisive action, and that often it is only through a form of nonviolent disruption that a society will be forced to reconsider its standpoint on an issue.

Another integral part of the thesis, was an often mentioned feeling of disappointment in the skewed views and position held by the majority of the members of the clergy, the dithering of the moderates who had it within their power to affect change in the culture , and that the flawed beliefs of the ruling society were shared, or through inaction allowed by an organization that professes ethics and love. What type of argument is it, a claim of fact, policy or value? I believe it to be a mixture of all, but more so of the latter. It stands as an argument about the issues of policy because it clearly defines the social, legal, and constitutional injustices being committed at the time.

It is written in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the manifesto of American freedom, that all people in this nation are entitled to the right to live life comfortably and without persecution. It also states that it is the right of the people when a government is unjust to use civil and sometimes radical means to alter that government for the better.

So this is letter clearly states an issue of policy and assuring that the rights granted by liberty are for, and serve all people. This letters intent on presenting an argument based on value is obvious, just by its very nature as well as by its content. The issues discussed within are some of the cardinal points of human rights and civility. There are many points during the letter where a religious value is called into account, and the thought that someone of faith has an inherent duty to support justice and morality.

It also speaks deeply with the underlying tone, that equality is, and should be self evident.

Martin Luther King Jr Letter from a Birmingham Jail

It is during these points in the letter that I see the simultaneous expression of value and fact. The argument that tied it all together were the statements that show that societies moral, political, and physical standpoint on human rights needed to be amended, in order to make a nation with more equality and justice.

He utilizes historical citation of some of the great minds of democratic principles, to show that the precedence set by them for justice, is in accordance with the civil rights movement. His use of biblical references was employed to show the parallels and timelessness of all just action. The audience being addressed in this letter are the members of the clergy who were critical of Dr. He is addressing them because he feels that they are people of understanding and that perhaps, if they had a full view of what is necessary and what precipitated his actions, he could gain their support.

The universal and immutable appeal of this letter is that it is a comprehensive expression of revolution and positive change. There have always been struggles related to civility and justice, and they continue today, but pieces of literature like this show the pivotal thoughts and decisions that must be made in order to make the world a more cohesive and peaceful place. It shows us where we have been, how far we have come, and how far we still have to go in search of a civilization of true liberty. People should fight for justice by taking direct action that was the only way to change discriminatory policies.

Claim of fact, value, or policy? The type of argument found in this letter is value. The letter shows that Martin Luther King really believed that all people should have equal rights. Martin Luther king provides facts of many blacks that suffer to support his claim in the letter. He explains why unjust laws are harmful to society.

Martin Luther King uses repetition to make his point clear. He wants people to know that everything that he is saying is very important. Martin Luther King uses many well-known references to captivate the reader. He uses biblical and historical references because he wants to make his point clear to the clergymen. The letter was intended for the clergymen. The clergymen were pastors from the Christian church. Martin Luther King received many letters from church pastors and ministers calling his actions stupid and ridiculous.

The reason why Martin Luther king decided to address the clergymen was because he felt that they did not understand his actions due to the fact that they had been brain washed by the media or by others. Martin Luther King felt that the clergymen were good people and that they were worth the time explaining his actions and ideas for them to understand.

What makes it a great piece of writing? What give this letter universal appears is that Martin Luther King uses many different events to explain that history repeats itself. How Adolf Hitler was able to kill so many people in a so-called legal way. Martin Luther King felt that the same was occurring in the United States. He felt that White people were creating unjust laws that were killing black people, just like Hitler killed millions of Jews. What makes this letter such a great piece of literature is the method that he wrote it.

His letter is so powerful that it really makes the reader think of what he means. King uses many literal devices such as anology, repetition, and imagery to captivate the reader. The letter is of great significance because King authored the letter while incarcerated in the Birmingham, Alabama city jail. King addressed his fellow clergymen to explain his presence in Birmingham as well as his position on civil rights movement activities. If protesting against the status quo meant imprisonment then so be it. Furthermore, King was willing to put his freedom on the line for the advancement and victory of all people: Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever.

The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Carla Poindexter Eng. I agree with Mr. Knox's idea that King's main point is, "that any unjust law shouldn't be recognized as a law at all. I did not gather on my own another message King introduced was time is not always on the side of those just persons.

I think biblical references are are always important. I am a very spirtual person. I like to hear "the word" throughout the week.

Letter From Birmingham Jail Analysis

Hearing "the word" throughout the week gives me the strenght I need to endure the daily challenges of life. We know King literally addressed the letter to his fellow clergymen. I would like to presume that King also wanted to speak to everyone in the world. I imagine that King new the civil rights movement in the US would effect everyone in our global community. King, himself, did mention the advancements of other people in our global community.

King talks about the unjust law that this country had that used only to protect some people white and put the other people colored down. King also say that in order to solved this problem we must take direct nonviolent action against the unjust law. Note the repetition. King strongly expresses his need for direct action with a nonviolent approach. Martin Luther King presents an argument based on policies and values.

Letter from a Birmingham Jail Analysis Essay (Completed in )

He employs several arguments to convey his thesis: the need for direct action. King was arrested after peacefully fighting for natural human equality. The key points King used to address this issue of inequity are: just versus unjust laws and the role of the church. King differentiates the difference between a just and an unjust law.

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An unjust law is not rooted in any eternal or natural law. Hence, segregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Whites enforce the laws and codes of conduct but do not have such strict regulations on their lives. For a true democracy all citizens must have equal options and opportunities.

This is direct evidence for an unjust law. King was invited to Birmingham by the Southern Christians Membership Conference in an attempt to spread equally. He, however, was not welcomed with open arms. After numerous unproductive negotiations with the city fathers, economic community and church community, he took the next step of self purification. He led himself and others through practices of self purification assuring that they were true in their facts and strong in their resolve of peaceful, non violent communication and advancement.

Finally with no progress after bettering themselves, working with and for the community, there was no other choice but to take direct action. King pulls from great scholars such as Socrates and St. Augustine while implying an undertone of maturity and composure. King focuses a large potion of his argument on the approach of Jesus and the church, thousands of years ago compared to the approach and actions of the church in Jesus was an extremist as was Martin Luther King, Jr.

The white church claims to worship and to praise Jesus and to follow the bible for it is morally wrong and to disobey would be a sin. However, these fellow clergy and church members are hypocrites! Jesus sought peace and never intended or promoted violence as a means to reach his goal. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The clergymen of Birmingham were his main audience. However, King directs a strong argument toward the white moderate, calling for action. In many cases standing in the middle of a torn subject can prove more debilitating than to simply choose a side. The white moderates easily agree with options and actions but never carry out these actions themselves.

These moderates would rather see a negative peace versus a positive tension. They are afraid of change; afraid of the unknown. Though the white moderates cannot make a decision, some of their being longs for a new arrival to peace. King asks these men and woman to step up and either choose the side of peace or the side of segregation for doing nothing helps no one. Throughout history his letter can be easily applied.


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His letter empowers us to take peaceful action to remedy our ills. King's thesis in the Letter from a Birmingham Jail is why engaging in a non-violent direct action program is necessary to demand the freedom and justice people deserve but have been denied for so long. King says, "We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. King lived in a time where injustice flooded his nation.

He became available to affiliates when action was needed. King said, "so I am compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond his own home town," paragraph 3 by demonstrating his non-violent campaign in Birmingham. King knew it was necessary for this to arise because it had been too long and the people should not allow this to continue any longer, he said, "it was unfortunate that the demonstration took place, but felt it was even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left Negro community with no alternative.

I believe the type of argument Dr. King speaks upon is based solely on value and policy. It is of policy and value because he strongly believes that we have only 2 types of law: just and unjust. He feels that everyone not only has a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws but also to disobey unjust laws. Just because it is a law that does not mean it is right. An unjust law is a law that is man made and goes against our morals.


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A just law makes the human personality rise above immoral things. He never wanted anyone to disobey laws because that would only lead to anarchy. King knows just from unjust, and just is what everyone should follow, but If they did break an unjust law, they had to do it from the heart, knowing and accepting the consequences. He states, "I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over it's injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

King has a very diverse style of writing. He has been influenced by many historical people so he repeatedly mentions many well known religious leaders throughout his letter like: Apostle Paul, Socrates, St.

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Augustine and even Adolf Hitler. He uses these leaders and their actions to explain his point of view. By using these men as examples, he shows the audience that he is not the only one who has believed in something so strongly, that they fought and preached the same way he did. I also noticed he repeatedly uses questions as a style to answer the curious audience, because he is concerned about what others think about his actions. As he expresses empathy so strongly, that shows me that he understands both sides.

The audience is mainly his fellow clergymen but I also believe the entire future of the nation is his audience as well. He wrote the letter so that when the clergymen read it, they can then relay the message and information down to the other disciples, who will then spread that news to the other followers. Because he was in jail that was the only way to communicate with his fellow leaders.

He is a very sophisticated man and he knew without any regard to the nation, that by him writing this letter would impact his followers and believers. Although he did not know we would be reading his letter today, I think he wrote it for the sake of mankind. That is why I feel we are the audience too. The way Dr.

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King addresses many of the issues he faced back in the day, universally it appeals to what we are going through right now. We have won battles and lost some, but as long as we have that flame burning inside of us for freedom, justice and equality then Dr. Martin Luther King's dream will live on forever through us. As a civil rights activist, integrationist and christian brother, Dr. King gave a perfect example of what we stand for as people, as a nation. In his letter he expresses so much empathy towards his people, devotion towards what he believed in, hope and honesty.

He emphasizes a dream that he knew could come true and that's what makes it a great piece of literature. Ali-Dinar, Ali B. King's letter, it filled me up with pride. Pride in knowing that there was someone out there courages enough to speak for the people. The people who felt that there was nothing they could do about the injustice they were receiving, people who felt that they could never free themselves from opression.

This method is supported by two different people, in two different time periods, with two different goals; these two people are Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Junior. But on April 16, , he was confined to the Birmingham jail, imprisoned for participating in civil rights demonstrations. Rhetorical Analysis of a Letter that changed the look on racism American activist leader, in the Africa American Civil rights movement, Dr.

Martin Luther King Jr. With an emotional tone, he educates his readers on how the racist acts of white clergymen are sinister, consequently their effects…. At the time, the Civil Rights movement is in full swing and both blacks and whites are standing up for a change and demanding an end to racial segregation. An analysis of Martin Luther King Jr. The rowdy gang carried out the attack condemning alleged immoral activity of public display of affection by a few couples. The use of ethos defines MLK as a credible writer; the use of pathos appeals to his audience on a personal level; and the use of logos layers his arguments and claims with irrefutable reasoning and logic.

A significant example of contributions through writings is the Birmingham Letter that he wrote from jail after being accused of demonstrating against racial segregation in Alabama. To help air…. These two authors clearly argue about two different subjects; however…. As he states in the title, in a Birmingham, Alabama jail. During his jail time, Martin Luther King Jr. King believes that his fellow clergymen…. Essays Essays FlashCards.

Browse Essays. Show More. If unjust laws are broken openly and intentionally and are done willing to accept the punishment then you have the highest respect for the law. King is speaking of a totally justified form of civil disobedience.