1/10 – MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Today we’ll discuss MLK’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.”We’re focusing on

  • What are the key questions he’s answering?
  • What is his tone and how does it shift over the course of the letter?
  • Where is he using the different types of appeals (logos, ethos, pathos)?

Once we’ve managed to outline the letter together, we’ll talk about how it connects to Antigone as a dystopia–and to dystopia in general.

Tomorrow we’re going to look at a very short dystopian story together and on Thursday we’ll watch the film version of that short text together and do some comparison/contrast.

DUE FRIDAY: But before we go too much further than that with dystopia, I want to ask you to read a new Critical Essay from your packet. It’s called “Good Readers and Good Writers” by Vladimir Nabokov (p 37). It will set the tone for our critical reading during the second half of the year (looking forward to your final lab book interview in May).Once you’ve read the essay, write a lab book entry responding to this prompt:

According to Nabokov, what is a “good reader?” Or, put another way, what is his recommended approach for readers of literature?

Please note that this is NOT like Foster. He’s not listing out the skills for us, he’s nudging us to think differently about reading, so it may take a few readings of the essay to really get a sense of  how you want to answer this question.


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