How Is Ethos Used In Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Personal experiences are highly influential when it comes to gaining credibility. Products advertise themselves using testimonies from normal, everyday citizens to prove the product’s effectiveness and trustworthiness. Politicians use similar methods by telling stories about their life and hardships, so they can connect with and relate to the masses. A strong writer is able to establish a common ground with the audience by sharing similar values and beliefs. The appeal to ethos is strengthened when it’s partnered with personal experiences. For instance, Martin Luther King Jr. uses several instances of ethos throughout his letter from Birmingham Jail. He particularly references biblical figures and events, comparing them to similar actions that the civil rights movement took. “Civil disobedience… was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar”, Dr. King writes, “on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake” (King 179). Dr. King’s…show more content…
After years of strife and unfair taxation, many colonists were desperate for independence if it meant that they would be free from a malevolent and unfair ruler. Thomas Jefferson writes, “We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury” (Jefferson 170). Any appeals for compromise were rejected time after time. “We have warned them… We have reminded them of the circumstances… and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred” (Jefferson 170). While the Declaration of Independence is directed to the king and other officials, it also unites the colonists by pointing out the injustices they have endured and the hard headed attitude of the English monarchy. The document sparks a common goal to eradicate British involvement in American affairs and connects the colonies with a common
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