Jan 25, 2018 in Analysis

Letter From Birmingham City Jail

This paper gives a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham City Jail, along side  Eric Schlosser’s What We Eat, Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food and Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market. These are articles which were written at different times. However, they were entirely aiming at addressing the plights of the ordinary Americans.

To begin with, King wrote his letter while serving a jail term for organizing ‘unlawful’ demonstrations to ‘destabilize’ this city. It was a response to the racial Alabaman white clergymen who had accused him of causing unnecessary tension as a result of organizing for non-violence demonstrations. In this article, Luther uses a philosophical language with several allusions from the Bible. This helps him to deliver his message especially when he says, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ This article portrays him as a civil rights activist who was so bold to face the government at this time when protests were attracting punitive penalties.


On the other hand, Schlosser’s articles are based on scientific research conducted by collecting data from interviews and personal observations. As an investigation journalist, he uses his skills to uncover the underground business operations which have been wrecking havoc to the Americans. In What We Eat, he reports on the dangers associated with fast foods. He says that many people love this type of food without understanding their implications. He says that the leading fast food companies like Macdonald are selfish. Their major aim is to make a profit. Such sentiments are repeated in the Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food in which he asserts that the fast food industry has now invaded the schools and toy industries. In this text, he uses a lot of illustrations, simple, clear and precise language. This helps him to serve the children who are his main target.

Lastly, in Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market, Eric explores the development of black market in USA. As a result of the persistent unethical practices, porn, marijuana and immigrant labor has been illegally thriving in USA. This has not only affected USA, but the whole world. This article is properly written because it is a research work. It has exhaustive explanations and evidences which make it valid and authoritative. The two authors are distinguished scholars who use their writing prowess to address relevant issues affecting the general society. Although they used different approaches, their messages are very clear and easier to understand.


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