In Martin Luther King’s famed “I Have A Dream” address, and his “Letter From Birmingham Jail” King makes use of bothe logos and pathos in his writing. It is because of these that his writings have risen to such prominence and stirred so many to action. But while he used both logos, the use of reasoning, and pathos, the use of emotions and charged language, a careful analysis shows that they are not equal. For King has a talent for dramatic, poignant resounding language, one which he uses to full effect and is much more powerful than logos. To demonstrate, take this passage “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it’s creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
King uses many forms of rhetorical devices in his letter in order to effectively make impacts on his audience. In his counterargument against the praises towards the Birmingham police force, King brings new lights of the police force to the public eye. He uses parallelism to target his audience and change the public opinion on the police force “I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes ... if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together”(King 561-570). King counter the praises that states the police kept “order” for the public and prevented any violence to take place,
Was not Jesus an extremist for love: ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you’". Here King uses pathos to build his ethos, he places himself among Jesus Christ which builds his ethos and since the initial letter writers were clergymen, it connects to pathos. That is just one of the many effective passages from King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. This shows a lot of courage because most people choose to fight fire with fire but he chooses to fight hatred with love. This took a lot of courage because many people of the black community wanted to riot and attack the racists and the white community already was against him.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an amazing civil rights leader. In 1963, Dr. King and some other civil rights actives went down to Birmingham, Alabama to help in the fight to end inequality. During a nonviolent demonstration Dr. King and countless other protestors were arrested and sent to a Birmingham jail. While in prison Dr. King had time to think and he took this time to write to his fellow clergymen who critics the nonviolent demonstrations. The letter is entitle "Letter from a Birmingham Jail".
Throughout history, civil rights have been a persistent issue, as far back as enslavement in the First Civilizations, such as Mesopotamia. With the issues however, a great many people have stood up for the rights of themselves and others. None of these people have been more prominent than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was the person who most impacted civil right because of the sheer number of people he captivated, as well as his calls for change being carried out in a nonviolent manner. Not many people have the power of persuasion, and even fewer possess it to the degree held by Dr. King. "
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.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong leader in the Civil Rights movement, the son and grandson of a minister, and one heck of a letter writer. As he sits in a cell of Birmingham Jail in 1963, he responds to criticism from eight white clergymen. Though this letter was intended for the judgemental and condescending men of high faith, his response touched the hearts and minds of the entire U.S. population, then, and for years to come. In his tear-jerking, mind-opening letter, King manages to completely discredit every claim made by the clergymen while keeping a polite and formal tone. Metaphors, allusions, and rhetorical questions are used in the most skillful way to support his argument and ultimately convince his audience of the credibility behind his emotional, yet factual, claims.
Upon being imprisoned for marching Dr Martin Luther King wrote a letter to the fellow clergymen of Birmingham, addressing his reasons as to why he committed his “crime”, This letter was widely known as “The Letter of Birmingham”. This letter was very influential and paramount to the cause of civil rights as it spurred up future events that would play essential roles in ending racial segregation in America. Throughout his whole letter, King used Ethos, logos, and pathos to firmly get his message across while adding rhetorical devices such as repetition, metaphors, and biblical references.
Have you ever read an article or book that express a lot of sympathy and it made you feel as if you can feel their pain. “The Letter From Birmingham Jail” displays the true meaning of pathos. After reading this” letter” emotions will overflow. Dr. King wrote with so much passion and courage, that it makes his readers feel as if they were part of the movement. He shows his concerns for the African American community by expressing their thoughts and feelings because they feel as if they have no voice.
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.
Throughout the text, King utilized the values of his audience to gain sympathy and later on support. His use of diction and syntax would align his mission to God’s, and show that he was in the right and the clergymen were in the wrong. In his letter, King effectively used an extended periodic sentence that consisted of more than 300 words. The sentence has an extreme appeal to pathos, with such vivid imagery
Response to “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. In Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, he responded to statements written in a Birmingham newspaper that criticized his actions in the city. He undermined these disapprovals by explaining his belief in nonviolent direct action. King also went on to give opinions on other topics, such as, the lack of support from white moderates and white churches. He used technique and structure to develop his ideas and justify his methods.
MLK also uses rhetorical devices to persuade the audience. MLK states In Letter To Birmingham Jail, “Why direct action, why sit-ins, marches, and so forth?” (King 7) MLK used rhetorical questions so the audience would have to think to themselves. MLK is showing the audience that by doing these actions is the only way they will be heard.
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.”