Martin Luther King Jar’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is a compelling letter that states his points of view and beliefs of segregation and racial injustice while persuading important clergymen of defending “direct action” against segregation for all African Americans. I will also discuss how DRP. King uses the use of ethos, pathos, and logos throughout the letter to make it more influential and persuading. DRP. King describes the status quo of the city of Birmingham and its beliefs and spirit of the community.
The ethos encompasses little bits and pieces of segregation because the ethos DRP.
King uses describes the community as a whole. He states” Since you have been influenced by the view which argues against “Outsiders coming in” and ” Never again can we afford to live with the narrow provincial’ outside agitation’ idea. ” This tells the reader DRP. King tells how the community thought of black people as ‘outsiders’ even if the lived in the city. DRP. King use of ethos points out the flaws in the status quo of Birmingham. The use of pathos means considering the “emotional” appeal of someone. In this letter you can sense DRP.
Kings many different emotions of sadness, love, anger, disappointment and the belief the all men are created equal without discrimination of race. DRP. King shows anger emotions when in the letter he gives examples of why his children don’t understand why white men abuse and treat colored people so inhumanely. He states towards the middle of the letter” At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. ” He indirectly points his disappointment at the clergymen who wrote the letter to him.
A way he confronted opposition was how he used quotes from the church as well as noTABLE figures. DRP. King often compared the actions he took to Biblical movements, even the crucifixion of Jesus. For most of the letter he talks about how there are just laws and unjust laws. DRP. King shows how violent actions can have more of an effect on the process of negotiations than nonviolent actions. The people of the city don’t want any more violence than there has been so they see that negotiating with DRP. King and his followers may be a way to stop the ongoing violence.
The use of Logos means considering the “loge’ of the message. DRP. King makes effective use of logos throughout the letter. He clarifies his reasons for his arguments and supports them well using quotes and beliefs. There is logic in his appeal of his arguments as well. For example early in the letter he responds to the clergyman’s claim that the demonstrations that DRP. King led and supported were untimely and unwise. He supports this when he says that Negro leaders offered to negotiate with the city officials or also known as Fathers of the city’ but refused to engage in a negotiation that needed good faith and peace.
DRP. King gives us another example when he writes about their chance to talk to the city leaders. In the course Of negotiations, promises were made but not kept. Especially when the Reverend Southwester and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed on a moratorium on all demonstrations. As months went by they discovered they were the victims of broken promises. DRP. King then states “As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. These are just a few of many excellent appeals of logos.
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