Jake Edwards Professor Messersmith Comp II 3/3/13 Kings Keys to Success Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is known as the leader of the African-American civil rights movement, an activist, humanitarian, and one of the greatest speakers of all time. However, what makes him a good leader and good speaker? What makes his words so permanent and ingrained in so many people’s minds? In Kings writing “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, he uses many different rhetorical strategies that not only draw his viewers and listeners in, but also makes them feel powerful and useful. Kings speaking and leadership abilities can be broken down into the three rhetorical appeals: ethos, logos, and pathos. Each one of these appeals brings light to the reasoning behind the …show more content…
King succeed are his reputation and authority, or ethos. “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights” (378). By stating he is the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he gives his reputation to insure his followers that he is credible for what he is saying. Dr. King is also a Baptist minister, and he compares many of his ideas to examples in the bible. “It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians” (387) and “I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle” (381). Dr. King uses these analogies and examples to show his followers he knows the subject matter at hand. This is another example of King showing his reputation for knowing the …show more content…
Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority (385). Dr. King’s use of logic helps his readers to understand and feel the power from which Dr. King is speaking with. His logic draws the reader in and gives the facts straight forward. Lastly, Dr. King draws the readers in by talking about personal struggle and struggles about the south with segregation through the use of pathos (appeals to emotion). Dr. King tells many stories that can relate to the readers at that time and make them feel powerful in there civil rights movement. His brutal stories make an uprising of the black
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Marthin Luther King Jr. Marthin Luther King uses Pathos and logic help to affectively present about the cruel things occuring mostly in the south. He was a supporter of equality and right, but against the laws that created segregation between races. The logic, pathos and reality of his writing effectively presents the real life situation occuring. To begin with, Marthin Luther king Jr. explains the reasons he was in Birmingham.
Dr. King appeals more to the heart, although he appeals to logic he appeals to the heart more in his messages. In his big speech “I Have A Dream,” he used the what the black people went through to get to their hearts, he used terms they have been called such as dirty niggers, that hit there heart. In his other famous message “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” he uses terms of slavery, what the blacks went through to appeal to them, Chains of Discrimination… (King 282 paragraph 32). King often uses emotion to appeal to people. Such as in his letter “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” he refers to the term “dirty nigger lovers,” (King, 282 paragraph 32).
Citing that that the white power structure of Birmingham left no other alternative other than public demonstration because of the unremitting violence, continued racist practices of local merchants, and the unwillingness of the political leaders to negotiate. Dr. King believes and argues that there are three reasons why it is appropriate for him to be active in working for civil rights in Birmingham even though he doesn't claim permanent residence there. First and foremost, he compares himself to the apostle Paul, who was also called to carry the gospel of freedom beyond his own birthplace. Secondly, He is president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which is a national organization whose Alabama chapter invited him. Lastly, King points out that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
The most effective rhetorical device that King uses is pathos. King uses this this device for the purpose of helping people connect with all the colored people affected by segregation and how they are treated. An example of this device is when he states, “when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: ‘Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?’” (para. 7)
This is evident as segregation “gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a sense of inferiority” (13). He then gives grounds for his wrongful arrest, stating that a law should not “deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and press”(15). So despite segregation being present in many regulations set by the Birmingham government, King urges his audience to do what is morally right, no matter the legal repercussions. He then uses the biblical tale of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to provide a historical instance where a “higher moral law was at stake” (17). King goes on to provide more examples of civil disobedience that have led to the advancement of society, criticizing the actions of the law abiding white moderate by describing them as “dangerously structured dams that block the flow of societal progress”
immediately addresses his credibility and directly responds to one of the main points that the clergymen state about outsiders. King states “ I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “outsiders coming in(444)” King goes on to describes how he is a member of several different organizations that are fighting for equal Civil Rights most importantly how he is the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and he states how “ I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.(444)” King also demonstrates his credibility to the Clergyman as a minister and a brother of the church by quoting the Paul from the gospels and also early Christians who would rather be eaten by the lions than obey unjust laws(447).
By doing this we see King take a position of calmness and understanding, rather than aggressive and attacking. This correlation of a perspective justice leading to injustice, is a prominent feature throughout history, which makes King’s claim transcend not only the original audience, but time as well. I fully support King’s claims, especially when looking at the world he describes, while comparing it to now and seeing how little certain things have changed. Summary:
Any law that degrades human personality is unjust" (King 702). King declares that segregation is unjust, "It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority" (King 702). For example, King uses Hitler and the Nazi Germany. It was legal for Hitler to persecute the innocent Jewish people.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is perhaps the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement. He is famous for writing his “I Have A Dream” speech and his “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” Dr. King is known as a very high-minded speaker who avoids violence when making his argument. His work can be defined as a nonviolent protest. His “I Have A Dream” speech and “Letter From Birmingham Jail” are loaded with language that does not have a negative, violent-sounding undertone, but rather a passionate one.
It was a humid and damp day in August of 1963, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. As the ground gathered the man responsible for this was getting ready to make the speech of his life. Martin Luther King Jr. took the podium on August 28th 1963 to addressed the real issue on civil rights. King proceeds to bring his family into the speech to hit people with their emotions. King was a genius man.
Determined: Dr. King’s Message Many great speeches are increasingly different. The Braveheart speech, while famous for being powerful, is very different from another powerful speech, the one from Dead Poet’s Society. However, a very powerful speech, in many’s opinion, is the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, given shortly before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
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.
Dr. Martin Luther King was a famous leader of the African American civil rights movement from 1955 to 1968, most notably known for his peaceful protests and speeches. In his speeches and other writings, he would try to persuade those opposed to his cause to join him by using rhetorical devices. The most common rhetorical devices he used in his writing were pathos, emotional devices, and logos, logical devices. Both pathos and logos were used in his two famous pieces, “I Have a Dream” speech and “Letter From Birmingham Jail” to help persuade his audience. The effectiveness of pathos and logos can differ tremendously from person to person, depending on an individual’s thinking or emotions towards a group or cause.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. uses different persuasive appeals to target a specific audience. The “I Have a Dream” speech was written to motivate and inspire listeners; to stir up emotions. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was written to persuade white clergy to support civil rights. In the “I have a Dream” speech, King uses an upbeat and hopeful tone along with strong, charged language to make his audience, a colossal crowd surrounding the Lincoln Monument, feel stirred into action. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, which was written by King in the quiet confines of his jail cell, was meant to change the opinions of well educated clergy members.
Besides King using pathos, he also makes use of strong ethical appeals with true hard facts. Dr. King’s many sources adds strength to his argument, and presents it masterfully. To clarify his sources, he refers to the need for action throughout history with educational examples such as St. Thomas Aquinas, Paul Tillich, Hitler, and Martin Buber. These examples are advance and ancient, which shows that King did his homework. The Alabama clergymen considered King as an outsider, but with his ethical appeals he presents himself as an insider.