Ethos, Pathos, Logos Kings Letter to Birmingham

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Ethos, Pathos & Logos in
“The Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Some varieties of inspiration come as passionate love while others appeal as injustice as did Martin Luther King in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Martin Luther King Jr. effectively crafted his counter argument by first directly addressing his audience, the clergymen, and then using logos, pathos, and ethos to refute his opponent's statements and present his own perspective. After stating the general purpose of his letter, Martin Luther King Jr. specifically addressed the clergymen to set up for his logical counterargument. First Martin Luther King effectively makes use of logos throughout his letter. He clarifies all of the reasons for his arguments and supports them well. His arguments are also logical in their appeal. In the beginning of his letter he gives a response to the clergymen’s claim that the demonstrations were unwise and untimely. He states that the Negro community had no alternative except to prepare for direct action. He supports this claim by saying that the Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers, but they consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation. He also gives more support to his argument by writing about another incident in September when the Negro leaders finally got their chance to talk with the leaders of Birmingham. He states that in the course of negotiations certain promises were made by the merchants-for example to remove the stores’ humiliating racial sings. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and the months went on, they realized that they were the victims of broken promises, because the signs went back up. Due to the fact that their hopes were yet again blasted they were forced to resort to direct action. This is just one example of many others in which Martin Luther King makes...
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