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Letters From Birmingham Jail

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April H

on 28 January 2016

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Transcript of Letters From Birmingham Jail

Paragraphs 41-43
Paragraphs 44-46
Paragraphs 47-50
"Letter from Birmingham Jail"
By: Olivia, Rachel, and Nico
44
Martin Luther King, JR reveals his hopes for the church to take a stand.
He states that he has no fear about the future of their freedom.
He believes that the goal of freedom will be reached.
He writes that because the past struggles didn't stop his people from thriving, the current struggles won't either.
He believes that the African American people will be successful because God is on their side.
45
Martin Luther King, JR confronts the people for commending the police's treatment of African Americans.
He then uses examples seen in the inhumane treatment of the African Americans-- dogs and jail.
He points out that the young, old, female, and male are all treated with equal cruelty.
He also says that the police have twice refused them food because the people wanted to sing grace together.
He simply states, "I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department."
What is used?
What is used?
What is used?
Explained
Anaphora
Parallelism
Ethos
Personification
diction
epistrophe
allusion
EXAMPLES:
"Abused" "Scorned" "Gross injustice" "Shameful humiliation"
"Bottomless vitality" "Inexpressible cruelties"
What is used?
Explained
What is used?
What is used?
What is used?
Explained
What is used?
Explained
What is used?
Explained
What is used?
Explained
Anaphora
Parallelism
Logos
Pathos
diction
epistrophe
Allusion
EXAMPLES:
46
"
Before the
pilgrims landed at Plymouth,
we were here
.
Before the pen

of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence
across the pages of history,
we were here
."

"If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands."
"Order" "Preventing violence" "Unarmed" "Nonviolent"
"Ugly" "Inhumane treatment"
Anaphora
Parallelism
diction
Juxtaposition
Allusion
Contemporary Allusion
EXAMPLES:
"Rather" "Nonviolently" "Evil system" "Immoral" "Moral"
"Racial injustice" "Temptation" "Treason"
"
I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force
. . .
I doubt that you would so quickly commend the police men
. . ."

". . .
If you were to observe
their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail;
if you were to watch
them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls;
if you were to see
them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys;
if you were to observe
them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together."
Martin Luther King, JR agrees that the police have been disciplined in dealing with the protestors and have acted "
rather
nonviolently."
He adds that this serves no purpose because being disciplined and nonviolent to preserve evil is still a form of evil.
He explains that he has declared many times over his life that his people should not use violence because their means "must be as pure as the ends [they] seek."
He strikes a comparison between "immoral" and "moral" means.
He ends in reiterating the fact that even though the police have used "moral" means of "nonviolence", it doesn't matter because their means are to maintain an "immoral" end.
"Over the past few years
I have
consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.
I have
tried to make clear that
it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends
. But now I must affirm that
it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends
."

"Perhaps
Mr. Connor and his policemen
have been rather nonviolent in public, as was
Chief Pritchett
in Albany, Georgia . . . "

"As T. S. Eliot has said:
'
The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason
.' "
47
48
49
50
Martin Luther King, JR explains who he believes the real heroes of the South are.

He gives an outlook of how people will look at this in the future.

He then compares current events to the ones of the past.
Martin Luther King, JR attempts to make them aware under what circumstances he wrote this letter.

He then explains why the letter is so long.
Martin Luther King, JR begs his audience to forgive him if he was too harsh.

He then begs God for forgiveness if he hasn't been harsh enough.
Martin Luther King, JR wraps up the letter by reminding his audience the purpose of the letter.

He appeals to the clergymen by calling them, "FELLOW clergymen" and , "Christian brother[s]."

He lastly highlights how awful the segregation makes the African American people feel, and contradicts this darkness by ending with the hope and light of the future-- no segregation.
41
The church has become "ineffectual."
The church is an irresolute "archdefender of the status quo."
The church had chosen neutrality in attempt to please the multitudes.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." -Desmond Tutu
The church's silence is, by default, condoning things as they are, which is fueling the "average community."
Martin Luther King, JR writes to appeal to the normal citizen's sense of freedom. He tries to convince them that like the Patriots as they signed the Declaration of Independence and the pilgrims as they escaped for a new life, the African Americans, too, want to be free.

He points out that the African Americans have been working in the background as the country has struggled to find its way and its freedom, and that it is finally time for them to act for THEIR freedom.
GENERAL: Flow, impact,
shame, appeal,
and ethics

Explained
Martin Luther King, JR is appealing to the audience's logic. He gives a statement (the police's actions are not commendable), and he backs up this statement with examples.

He continually points a finger with the statement, "If you." He is bascially saying, "You haven't seen the things I have, and if you had, you wouldn't be commending the police either."
GENERAL: Flow, highlight,
convince, logic,
and emotion
Explained
Martin Luther King, JR basically tries to provoke thinking. He made the point that many of the laws were not bad on the surface, but they were, in reality, bad when looked at carefully.

He uses the comparison of "immoral" and "moral" means to show that regardless of how one goes about it, if something is evil (as was the system of segregation) it doesn't matter how it is preserved.
GENERAL: Flow, irony
comparison,
reiterate, logic, and emotion
Anaphora
Parallelism
Pathos
Ethos
diction
Allusion
Pathos
Diction
Sarcasm
Anaphora
Parallelism
Diction
Irony
Pathos
Diction
Metaphor
Ethos
Pathos
hyperbole/exaggeration in Metaphor
Martin Luther King, JR is trying to prove validity of the civil rights movement.
Quote of Mrs. Pollard, "My feet is tired but my soul is rested."
Historical references through founding fathers.
Allusions to James Meredith and other heroes.
Outlook in the future.
Martin Luther King, JR attempts to be formal and polite.
He also makes clear the situation and location he is in.
He is trying to persuade them with kind words.
He also looks for some compassion in reference to his situation.
Martin Luther King, JR tries to persuade the audience while adding God into his argument.

He is saying he will beg for forgiveness if he did not do enough.
Martin Luther King, JR tries to persuade them by establishing ethos.
"Fellow clergyman, Christian brothers."
He then appeals to the emotions of the clergyman and reiterates his goal.
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING.:)
Diction
Metaphor
Paradox
Ethos
EXAMPLES:
"Weak" "Ineffectual" "Uncertain"
"Archdefender" "Sanction"
Explained
Explained
EXAMPLES:
EXAMPLES:
"Inextricably bound" "Ekklesia" Paralyzing" "Triumphant" "Conformity" "Torturous"
Metaphor:
"So often [the church] is an archdefender of the status quo."
Paradox:
"Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are."
Ethos (reverse ethos):
So often the contemporary church is a
weak, ineffectual voice
with an
uncertain sound
. So often it is an
archdefender of the status quo.
"
EXAMPLES:
"Sublime courage" "Agonizing loneliness" "Pioneer"
"Courageously" "Sacred values"
EXAMPLES:
EXAMPLES:
EXAMPLES:
"Precious"
"Overstates" "Unreasonable impatience" "Understates"
"Fellow" "Racial prejudice" "Fear-drenched"
"Scintillating beauty"
“One day the South will recognize its
real heroes
.”

“Bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of
the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence
.”
“I'm afraid it is much too long to take your
precious
time.”

“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
?”


If I have said anything
in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience,
I beg
you to forgive me.
If I have said anything
that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood,
I beg
God to forgive me.”

“. . .
Fellow
clergyman and a
Christian brother
. . .”

“. . .
Fog of misunderstanding
. . .”

“. . . The
dark clouds of racial prejudice
. . .”

“. . .
Radiant stars of love and brotherhood
will shine . . .”
42
The Lord is judging the church.
The church is in danger of loosing its authenticity and loyalty.
The church has become an "irrelevant social club."
"[The church] will have no meaning for the 20th century."

diction
pATHOS
METAPHOR
ETHOS
"Outright disgust" "Disappointment" "Forfeit"
"Authenticity" "Irrelevant"
Ethos:
Martin Luther King, JR talks about the church's authenticity (and its lack thereof), and its irrelevance.
Metaphor:
"Irrelevant social club"
Pathos:
Talking about the Lord's judgement
43
Martin Luther King, JR suggests that "organized religion" is too caught up in pleasing the multitude- not being faithful to truth.
We should look to the "ekklesia," which is the "inner spiritual church," and the hope of the world.
Thankful for those who have "broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity" and those who have "joined in the struggle for freedom."
They are preserving the meaning of church.
"Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment."
diction
metaphor
pathos
logos
concrete details
aphorism
parallelism
biblical allusion
Concrete Details
: "Joined us as active partners," and "Gone down the highways with us," and "Dismissed from their churches," and "They have acted in faith."
Logos
: By using such vivid concrete details, Martin Luther King, JR was appealing to logic, writing about the specific things they have done in support
Pathos:
The ekklesia- the hope
Metaphor:
"Broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity" and "Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment."
Biblical Allusion:
T
he "
spiritual salt
" refers to Matthew 5:13.

Martin Luther King, JR is exposing the church by using ethos-- he's writing about how ineffectual it has been in the struggle for freedom.
Uses a metaphor to display his message-- the church's neutrality often causes the church to support things as they are.
Martin Luther King, JR appeals to the reader's emotion by talking about the Lord's judgement on the church.
King is using ethos to display the church's faults.
Martin Luther King, JR uses logos to define the ways in which the "ekklesia" are supporting the them in the struggle for freedom. He also uses concrete details to fully explain their support.
King uses a Biblical allusion (the ekklesia as the spiritual salt) to relate to the audience. It's likely that the majority of the reader understood the reference to Matthew 5:13.
"The world will not be
destroyed by
those who do evil,
but by those who
watch them without
doing anything." -Albert Einstein
Full transcript