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Ethos, Logos, and Pathos in Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr - Essay Example

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This paper is about the "Ethos, Logos, and Pathos in Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.". Letter from a Birmingham Jail is one of the most significant literary works penned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The letter was written on 16th April 1963, and it was a response to a particular statement made by some members of the clergy in a newspaper…
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Extract of sample "Ethos, Logos, and Pathos in Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr"

Download file to see previous pages The Use of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos in “ Letter From Birmingham” Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. establishes a strong defense in support of the nonviolent way of defending the pacifist organizations The Use of Ethos In the first two paragraphs, extracted from the second page of the letter, Martin uses ethos to best vindicate organizations that support the ending of racial discrimination in America and their different means of nonviolent action of fighting for their civil rights. Some ethics can be attributed naturally to King, who has been a prominent, well-educated figure in the African American community. Furthermore, King is known as a religious leader, and this adds a level of trust to his writing which acts to build ethos further. Still, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. builds ethos in his penmanship as he kicks off his message by detailing the events that he and his people share common interests. He mentions the recent Mayoral elections and the participation of the same by himself and his community. In the letter, King says, “ Then it occurred to us that Birmingham’s mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day.” Martin Luther uses the above statement to defend pacifist organizations further, and as a response to the clergy, repeatedly stating that the timing of his organization was always poor. Additionally, King opens another line of argument when he states, “ Just as Socrates felt.” Accordingly, King is attempting to explain that members of his organization are not alone in their support of nonviolent direct means of protest to facilitate the growing tension needed by society to motivate men to rise and stand against the dark injustices and prejudices in society. Martin Luther King also uses pathos in his text repeatedly. A shining example of this can be seen on page five, where Martin uses Pathos to back up his organization's use of nonviolent direct methods. Martin poses a question his readers asking what the South would look like if organizations championing for an end to racism had promoted violent direct measures. In his letter, King states, “ If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood.” In this part of the letter, Martin Luther uses pathos to invoke emotions in his readers and convince them that non-violence is the best means to champion civil liberties for the African American community. He continues to convince his readers that the “pilgrimages” and “marches” organized to City Hall are the best, nonviolent method for organizations in support of the civil rights movement. Furthermore, King argues that such nonviolent direct action was also appropriate for all African Americans to release their frustrations and pent up anger against the system. Dr. King also sees the nonviolent way as a good method for African Americans that had adjusted to segregation to regain their self-respect. Again, he notes that nonviolent, pacifist action is the best way to achieve their objective. He continues to defend these affiliations strategies of non-violence, and he urges not to become violent for he is of the opinion that the nonviolent way is the best course of action under the circumstance. Lastly, the use of Logos in the letter can be seen on the second page. King uses logos to support his organization further, and their strategies for nonviolent action. In using his examples, King hopes his readers will see the logic in his arguments, as he reasonably tries to champion for a nonviolent way to pursue civil liberties for his community. Firstly, King argues, “ Nonviolent direct action aims to create such tension within the community, that they are forced to confront the issue.” Here, King defines the central objective of pacifist direct action as being to aggravate the white man until he finally concedes and agrees to negotiate. In defending his methods, he opines that violence is wrong, and will just lead to more letting of blood unnecessarily. He further explains that a non-violence action is a powerful tool, useful and necessary to dramatize the issue until it is impossible to ignore. The above are logical examples that back up this affiliation’s ideas of non-violence. With his letter, Martin Luther uses ethos, pathos, and logos, to argue his case in Birmingham, that non-violence offers the best way to initiate changes in their community. In the letter, King explains all this with the help of various examples of factual and logical reasoning, plus racial situations, while also alluding to Christianity. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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