Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American minister, dissident, compassionate, and pioneer in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He was best known for improving social equality by utilizing peaceful common defiance, in light of his Christian convictions. Birmingham is presumably the most altogether isolated city in the United States. There have been increasingly unsolved bombings of Negro homes and houses of worship in Birmingham than in other cites in the country. Martin Luther King Jr. could never hold back his views with the clergymen; kids had been executed in a congregation shelling, and they contradicted the peaceful development.
In his prominent open letter, Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. effectively defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism with his abundance of rhetorical devices including allusions, parallelism, and inclusive language.
Martin Luther King Jr. incorporates allusions, referring covertly or indirectly to an object or circumstance from an external context, which help to establish tension.
In the Letter, King mentions Socrates and his need to create tension to raise men to reality and out of the depths of prejudice and racism.
Martin Luther King Jr. presents the same energy of non-violence to establish an understanding of brotherhood (Hornsby 3). This picture of Socrates is recognizable from Plato’s Apology: the gadfly of the polis, who is always “arousing and persuading and reproaching” citizens to see the truth and equity. Athenians, obviously, reacted to
the stings of the gadfly by executing Socrates. In any case, King rejects the counter-intuitive thought that an out of line reaction to an act spoils the encouraging act.
In King’s last reference to Socrates, the rationalist tallies up chronicled figures who were associated with civil disobedience (King 2). As well as from philosophers and theologians, King frequently seeks inspiration from Biblical sources. Another Allusion is the mention of St. Thomas Aquinas and his view on unjust laws being not humanly natural or uplifting. This relates to the degrading of human personality. When it comes to segregation an inferior minority is shunned upon (Hornsby 4). Biblical allusions of Apostle Paul carry the gospel of freedom. King addresses racism by preaching for non-violence. He refers to a common ground of Biblical texts to connect to his audience of clergymen, to get his point of a peaceful resolution across, and encourage a consideration of ethics. He additionally recognizes the earnestness and status of the clergymen who composed the letter he’s reacting to, regarding their validity as men of good will who are knowledgeable on Bible lessons (King 3).
Martin Luther King Jr. provides the use of parallelism, defining a pattern or concept and method using parts of sentences, in which giving them the same, or parallel structure. Martin Luther King mentions repeatedly of Germans to emphasize and persuade his meaning of righteousness, saying despite the violence or it being illegal, he would’ve provided comfort to the Jews. He creates the pattern using the sentence “everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal” (King 3). Here, King depicts what happens when one depends on a law that excludes itself from good obligation. On a few events in the “Letter,” he scolds the pastorate for speaking to a congregation that is independent from social, ‘genuine world’ concerns. His contention here is that enabling a law to rule without surveying its ethical quality creates a circumstance like that of Nazi Germany. His assault here on the church – who appear to help ‘peace’ without considering the severe isolation that accompanies such request – isn’t exceptionally unpretentious, contrasting them with Nazis who oppressed Jews basically on the grounds that their biases were secured by the law. What the entry does is recognize congruity and individual duty. The last mentioned, he contends, considers activity that can change the world. By recommending that he would have overstepped Nazi laws since they were uncalled for, he provokes his group of spectators to do likewise with isolation laws (Tiefenbrun 24). King lists all the extremists and explains how he is not the only extremist. This provides parallel structure again effectively persuading that though he is doing the right thing, he should not be the only one. King asks the people if they are able to fulfill their task and not retaliate. He emphasizes what they will have to bear in order to accomplish the goal of destroying racism and to see if the members of the group are strong enough. Having explained extremism, King demands that “mistreated individuals” will in the long run seek after their opportunity, as is going on all through the world. The “Negro people group” additionally feels this “fundamental inclination” and is endeavoring to satisfy it through walks, journeys, and petitions. On the off chance that these subdued inclinations are not permitted articulation, they will surely go to savagery. By calling this articulation “radical,” moderates are demonstrating an absence of qualification among viciousness and peacefulness (King 4). He then states that he stands between the two forces, extremism and non extremism, and compares his traits to remarkable figures. By doing this he causes his readers to see the similarity between him and the men, giving him greater credibility and his letter a sense of purpose and desire to be read ( Tiefenbrun 6-7).
Inclusive language avoids the use of certain expressions or words that might be considered to exclude particular groups of people. (Henry David ) Martin Luther King uses men to touch on manhood towards racism, saying that they will fight. King does not necessary mean men but that just one should work to gain his basic constitutional rights even if that pursuit precipitates violence. (Henry David) Martin Luther King uses we are here to convey a change in hope. He calls for individuals to follow their consciences, for unjust laws to be challenged and for all people to be one and treated equally. Martin Luther King uses the word Negros to convey the struggle of violence and to use pathos to convey guilt and the need for “peaceful resolution” to destroy racism.
Some doubt that Martin Luther King displays his message effectively. Racism has not disappeared, it still happens today but with Martin Luther King segregation has vanish and violent protests have decreased to more peaceful solution. With his use of rhetorical devices such as allusions, parallelism, and inclusive language, Martin Luther King effectively defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. He uses historical and biblical allusions to create tension. He uses parallelism to connect his meaning of righteousness. Lastly, he uses inclusive language to form his audience into one to combat racism.