The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by the late Martin Luther King
The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by the late Martin Luther King, Jr. is a very inspiring work about injustice, oppression, and fighting for everyone’s rights. He was able to respond to his critics in a manner where he appeared calm and responsible. He laid out all his reasons for his actions and why he was in such a place without becoming angry and bitter at the situation.
One example of enthymeme found in his letter is the statement “I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong. ” This statement is considered as an enthymeme because it has a part of the argument that is missing since this is already assumed. It can be broken down in three parts: laws that are considered morally wrong should not be obeyed by the public; segregation ordinances are morally wrong; thus, segregation ordinances should be disobeyed.
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He states that segregation allows other people to think that they are superior from others, while some may feel that they are much lower than the rest. Another enthymeme is seen on Marin Luther King, Jr. ’s letter, specifically in the 10th paragraph where he talks about opposing to violent tension and “the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society…” The assumed premise here is that gadflies have the ability to improve people’s lives.
The minor premise is that the author, Martin Luther King, is a gadfly. As such, it is concluded that the author’s efforts will greatly improve the lives of the people. Martin Luther King was able to express his intentions by using logical arguments to persuade his audience. He was effective in his purpose by having clear examples and arguments that answered the questions and concerns of the clergymen who wrote to him.