Summary/Assessment: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which is an organization operating in every Southern state with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. He came to Birmingham, Alabama because injustice lies there and helped protest about it in a nonviolent demonstration against racial discrimination. The eight clergymen of the South did not approve of these demonstrations happening which caused Dr. King to be confined in Birmingham Jail cell, writing a letter to them men explaining on why he was in Birmingham and what his reasons were for these protests. He begins to talk about and explain the four basic steps that needed to be followed for any nonviolent campaign. He also gives the audience a better understanding by giving a visual glimpse of what the black community had to endure.
In Martin Luther King’s Jr, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” the letter was a persuasive attempt to get Americans to finally see the inequality in the United States of America. Throughout King’s letter, he used various ways of persuasive strategies: pathos, logos, and ethos. But the strongest influential device King used was pathos. Now the word “strongest” has various meanings, but in this instance, it means the most successful.
In paragraphs 33 to 44 of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s response to “A Call for Unity,” a declaration by eight clergymen, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963), he expresses that despite his love for the church, he is disappointed with its lack of action regarding the Civil Rights Movement. Through powerful, emotionally-loaded diction, syntax, and figurative language, King adopts a disheartened tone later shifts into a determined tone in order to express and reflect on his disappointment with the church’s inaction and his goals for the future. King begins this section by bluntly stating that he is “greatly disappointed” (33) with the church, though he “will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen” (33). By appealing to ethos and informing the audience of his history with the church, he indicates that he is not criticizing the church for his own sake, but for the good of the church.
Amidst the intense Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and put in solitary confinement for peacefully protesting racial discrimination and injustice in Birmingham, Alabama. It was during this time that Dr. King, refusing to sit idly by, wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” one of the most inspiring documents in history. With his respectful nature, humility, compassion, optimism, and determination, King responded to a group of white Alabama clergymen who had condemned the civil rights protests as extreme in their open letter, “A Call for Unity.” Although his letter was directed towards a small group of eight men, his words eventually reached the minds and hearts of the entire country. Throughout the letter, Dr. King does a tremendous job of supporting his argument with the three elements of Aristotle’s rhetorical appeal.
1. Ethos, Logos, and Pathos are important aspects in Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. The meaning behind Ethos is to appeal to ethics, which means convincing readers of the author’s credibility, meanwhile Pathos is an appeal to emotion, and is used in literature to convince readers of an argument by getting their emotions involved. Last but not least, Logos is the appeal to logic and is used to persuade readers using a force of reason. These terms are important in MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail because the foundation of the letter is built upon ideas of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.
In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream” speech he uses many different rhetorical devices. He uses rhetorical devices such as repetition, analogy, and rhetorical questions. In each writing, he uses the devices for many different purposes. These purposes can be similar, or different. In short, Martin Luther King Jr. includes rhetorical devices in his writing.
In “A Letter From A Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King Jr defends his use of nonviolent protest in order to accomplish racial equality. In the letter, Dr. King uses ethos, diction, and allusions when defending nonviolent protest which makes his argument really strong. His goal is to make the clergymen help him fight racial equality. He uses ethos to build up credibility.
Looking at this letter from King’s time period, one may seem to not understand where King was coming from because the issue was still fresh, but today his letter has lots of
While in solitary confinement for nearly 8 days, reverend and social justice activist, Martin Luther King Jr., wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in response to the criticism he received for his non-violent protests. Several clergy who negatively critiqued King’s approach of seeking justice, wrote A Call for Unity, arguing that his protests were senseless and improper. Within the article, the clergymen provide nine different critiques that asserted how King’s protest are invalid, uneffective, and simply unintelligent in the fight for obtaining justice and equity for individuals of color. His letter has become one of the most profound pieces of literature of the 20th century, as King uses vivid examples and eloquent rhetorical devices to counter all nine arguments.
Civil rights leader and social activist Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a world renown correspondence, Letter From Birmingham Jail, in April of 1963, during a time when segregation was at it’s peak in the South. When King was making his mark in American history, the United States was experiencing great social unrest due to the injustice towards their colored citizens, which would lead to social rights rallies and unnecessary violence. In response to King’s peaceful protesting, the white community viewed “[his] nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist,” and subsequently imprisoned the pastor (para 27). King specifically wrote to the white clergymen who had earlier addressed a letter to him as to why he was apprehended, in which they argued that his actions were untimely and unconstitutional. In response, King emphasized that justice is never timely, and the refusal to acknowledge equal rights was inhumane and regressive.
King expresses his thoughts using logical appeal (logos), as well as emotional appeal (pathos) to support his case and persuade others to support it as well. King’s usage of logos and pathos assisted him greatly in speeches and letters, the effect being the nation we know today. When a large minority of citizens could not apprehend King’s viewpoint, he turned to a logical appeal in order to help others
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement in 1954. He had a great impact on race relations in the U.S. and he made a great impact on many lives. He died in 1968. Dr. King wrote 2 famous works, “Dream” and “Birmingham” and each had a different audience and purpose. Both works utilizes the persuasive techniques of pathos in “Dream” and logos in “Birmingham.”
Martin Luther King Jr. was an important figure in gaining civil rights throughout the 1960’s and he’s very deserving of that title as seen in both his “I Have a Dream” speech and his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” letter. In both of these writings Dr. King uses logos - logical persuasion - and pathos - emotional appeal - to change the opinions of people who were for segregation and against civil rights. Although King was arrested for a nonviolent protest, he still found a way to justify his actions with the use of logos and pathos. MLK uses both ways to gain the attention and agreement of the audience but, he uses pathos not just more, but in a more relatable way in order to appeal to his audience.
Martin Luther King Jr. uses both logical and emotional appeals in order for all his listeners’ to be able to relate and contemplate his speeches. He does an exceptional job using both these appeals throughout his speeches by backing up his emotional appeals with logical ones. Using emotional appeals captures an audience's attention and makes them think about what the narrator is saying. Emotional appeal uses intense words and charged language to grab listeners to get them to keep listening. On the other hand, logical appeals helps to grasp the concept better and provides facts that prove it to be true.