In Dr. King’s letter he discusses the many reasons and goals for his appearance in Birmingham and, ultimately, his presence in the Birmingham county jail. His tone however, is not as readily apparent. In much of the letter King uses allusions and analogies that compare his situation to the Bible. This is not to be unexpected given his prominentate background with the church since he was a boy. (This is also discussed by King in the letter). When the content of the letter is compared with the previously stated allusions, the doctor gives off a righteous tone. He is also calm and collected in all of his letter, even though he gets a little snarky at points, when he has just cause to express his sense of anger and betrayal; furthering his righteous tone and creating a calculated one.
In the opening paragraph King explains how he came across a letter that eight clergy members published in a local newspaper and proceeds to respond to their comments. He also addresses his purpose for being in Alabama, which was his intent to partake in a non-violent direct- action program with an organization that Dr. King Jr. is affiliated with upon request. The good doctor also goes on to express his feeling of disappointment from fellow men of god in the face of suffering. Martin obviously expects them to take direct action for the downtrodden just as Jesus would have done and would encourage for all of man. Martin Luther King Jr. also underlines the necessary importance of direct action in the form of civil disobedience in a timely fashion.