Letter from a Birmingham Jail
In his letter to the eight clergymen, Martin Luther King effectively makes use of logos, pathos, and ethos throughout his letter. The purpose of the use of all three elements in the letter is evident and that is to help King prove his point of view and convince his readers who in this case are the eight clergymen. The use of logos can be noticed in the beginning of his letter where he gives a response to the clergymen’s claim that the demonstrations were unwise and untimely by stating that the Negro community had no alternative except to prepare for direct action. He clarifies all of the reasons for his arguments and supports them well; his arguments are also logical in their appeal. 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 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 by, they realized that they were the victims of empty promises, because the signs were put back up. Due to the fact that their hopes were yet again blasted they were forced to resort to direct action. This is one example of the many other appeals in which Martin Luther King appeals to logos. Also King conveys a high sense of ethos in his letter. He establishes this from the start of the letter. In the first paragraph he sets the tone for the letter; he states clearly that he wants to answer the clergymen’s statements with patience and reasonable terms. Also, he establishes...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document