Ballot Or The Bullet Analysis

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, are two crucial leaders in the civil rights movement. Although, the end goal for both leaders was to put an end to segregation and slavery and to achieve equality, the influential figures share several different and similar approaches to the situation: a radical, pro-violent approach taken by X and a rational, non-violent approach taken by King. The trivial similarities and differences between King 's "Letters from Birmingham Jail" and X 's "The Ballot or the Bullet" range from the style/tone, their thoughts on violent means, and their thoughts on the government.
"The Ballot or the Bullet" and "Letters from Birmingham Jail" differ in terms of the style/tone used regardless of the
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By establishing a non-formal connection with his audience, he is able to communicate his message using pathos and often uses the technique of repetition as he is repeatedly referring to his audience as "you" (X 357). By using personal pronouns, he makes every single person listening to or reading his speech feel included and like what they have to say matters; they are emotionally drawn to him and are convinced out of reason due to his use of logos as he talks about what it 's like to be an African American seeing as the majority of them can relate. King takes a very formal approach in his letter, addressing not his fellow African Americans but the white, Christian clergymen. King uses personal pronouns, as X does, but instead, he addresses the white clergymen directly yet everyone guilty of…show more content…
The idea of violence is a key difference when comparing X and King. King is known for his preaching of non-violent means of protest. He states: "We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive" (King 73). Here, Martin Luther King Jr. is inferring that violence is not necessary to convey a message or fight for what one believes, and that attaining justice isn 't limited to the act of violence. King does not believe in using violence to fight violence and uses ethos to appeal to the audience: "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly" (King 65). This is similar to the saying that two wrongs don 't make a right. King is acknowledging that being violent to respond to violence is only going to cause more chaos which in terms is not right; he is thinking about consequence. Malcolm X 's speech is fueled with anger and rage. He cautiously avoids directly encouraging his audience to be violent but makes statements like: "I don 't mean go out and get violent; but at the same time, you should never be nonviolent unless you run into some nonviolence" (X 360). X is subliminally telling his audience that they haven 't run into nonviolence, but that the horrors being committed against them, because of the color of their skin, are violent. He is ironically saying that he is not telling them to go out and be violent but that they must fight violence with violence in effort of
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