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.
King’s Words Start a Fire
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?)
and creates a
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.
…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…
This is an example of allusion.
That means the racism surrounding the children within the minority comunities prevented them from having and actual childhood.
factual tone depressing mood
2. 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.
4. 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.
This is an example of a simile.
This means that people need to see the ugly/bad before they can see the good thing for the world.