Ethos Pathos Logos In Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Martin Luther King Junior was the leader of several peaceful protests against the segregation of African American people in the American South. In his Letter form a Birmingham Jail, King responds to the eight clergymen who published an open letter in the local newspaper entitled A call to Unity that ultimately criticized King’s antics directly. King’s powerful yet eloquent use of different literary techniques, especially Aristotle’s persuasive appeals of ethos, pathos and logos, clearly delivers a potent message to his audience. The persuasive appeal logos, according to Aristotle, appeals to a reader’s sense of reason. Birmingham is described by King as “the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States” where “Negroes have experienced…show more content…
This use of appeal is very effective because it presents the reader with a situation which they can relate to. Parents with children can feel the pain that Negroes go through as well as explain the consequences of segregation in a different way. King also evokes a sense of pathos from the reader by using references to religion and God to give his letter more emotion and sincerity. He believes that “one day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God,” the African Americans and anti segregationists community, “sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for the best in the American dream” (658). Martin Luther King Junior was able to prove that words can be powerful and that not all demonstrations had to be violent. When it came to unjust laws, King proclaimed that people were morally obligated to see those laws and practices eradicated with whatever nonviolent method of protest they deemed necessary. The emotional strength of the letter is one reason behind its success as his message is clear and
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