How does Martin Luther King use imagery in "Letter from Birmingham City Jail"?

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Throughout the letter, King oscillates between high imagery—imagery relating to that which is above us—and low imagery, which deals with what is below us. For instance, we have references to the "dark depths of prejudice" and the "majestic heights of understanding" in the very same paragraph. Here, King is mapping out a clear trajectory that he believes the addressees of the letter should follow.

Later on, we have another striking juxtaposition of high and low imagery, when King argues that we should lift our national policy "from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity." In using high and low imagery like this, King wants the white clergymen to whom he's addressing the letter to face up to the grim realities of the current situation while keeping their eyes firmly fixed on the brighter future that lies in store if they have the courage to join with the civil rights movement in taking on the evil of racism.

What he wants most of all—and once again, he...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 911 words.)

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