Language purposefully in his text. Provide specific examples from the text to support your analysis



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King’s Words Start a Fire
Recall the writing prompt for this unit:

What makes King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" powerful and effective? After reading King's letter, answer the question by analyzing how he uses structure and language purposefully in his text. Provide specific examples from the text to support your analysis.

Your study of language in this assignment will begin to help you answer this question and respond to the prompt later in the unit.


Like protest songs, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” includes many examples of figurative language meant to persuade people to take action.

In each line, an instance of figurative language is already identified for you. Use what you learned in the lesson to identify the type of figurative language, explain what the figurative language means, and explain the tone and mood of the line from the letter. Some parts of the chart are already completed for you.

The line … from “Letter from Birmingham Jail”



is an example of …
(Which type of figurative language such as metaphor, simile, personification, symbol, or allusion?)

that means…


and creates a

____________ tone

and a

____________ mood.



Example:

This movement is nourished by the contemporary frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination.


is an example of Personification


that means the movement grows because of the people’s frustration with racial discrimination



and creates a Factual tone and an Urgent mood.

 


  1. …and see the tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky




Allusion

 That means that she began to see that because of her skin color she can not do certain things

 Sympathetic Tone
Sad Mood

  1. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the bleakness of corroding despair.

 Metaphor

 That means that the people are done with the racial injustice and are going to fight back

Anxious tone
Urgent mood

  1. To a degree academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience.

 Allusion

Socrates disobeyed laws that were not fair, which made it so students today can think freely (and possibly differently than their teachers).

Serious tone
Thought-provoking mood

  1. Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all of the tension its exposing creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

 Simile

 The “boil” is the truth, but it all must be told at once not over time.

 Insensitive Tone

Factual Mood



  1. In those days the Church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.

Metaphor

The church did not just reflect what was happening in society; it actually had the ability to change what was happening in society.

 Insightful Tone

Cheerful Mood



  1. Let us all hope the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities…

 Metaphor

 This means that the misunderstanding of racial barriers will soon be gone

Optimistic tone
Hopeful mood

  1. Let us all hope the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities

Hyperbole

The fear of being colored has been spread all over the community

Solemn Tone
Melancholy Mood


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