King Letter

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Dr. Kings’ Letter

One of the three rhetorical appeals Dr. King used in his letter was ethos. Ethos is an appeal to the writer’s credibility. In Dr. Kings’ essay he used this appeal in this quote, “But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.” King felt it was necessary for the non-violent approach to be taken so that communication could be open between the two races. Through non-violent action, crisis is formed and communities are forced to confront the issue. King strongly believed the situation needed to be discussed rather than left as it was. Dr. Martin Luther King also used the Logos approach. Logos is the appeal to logic. Martin Luther King was an excellent speaker and appealed to the logical side of most people. His essay took his knowledge and his talent of persuasion and summed up what he was working for and what he believed in. In Kings’ speech he wrote this, “How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust?” A law is a manmade code that squares with the moral law or law of God. An unjust law is a code out of harmony with the moral law.” He shows the difference between just and unjust appealing to the reader’s logical side. King believes that justice too long is justice denied. In his letter, Martin Luther King Jr.'s ability to effectively use pathos, or to appeal to the emotions of his audiences, is evident in a variety of places. King demonstrates his ability to inspire his fellow civil rights activists, invoke empathy in the hearts of white moderates, and create compassion in the minds of the eight clergymen to which the "Letter" is directed. Dr. King makes an emotional appeal when he says "our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us", that statement creates an emotion of despair, making the reader want to side with him and his cause...
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