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. For example, in the beginning of his
letter he gives a response to the clergymens 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 excellent appeals
to logos. Martin Luther King conveys a high sense
of ethos in his letter. He establishes this from
t4he very start of the argument. In the first
paragraph he sets the tone for the letter.
states that he wants to answer the clergymens
statements in patient and reasonable terms. Also,
he establishes his credibility in the second
paragraph by responding to the clergymens view
that he was an outsider coming in. He reveals that
he is the president of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, an organization operating
in every southern state, with headquarters in
Atlanta, Georgia. This clearly establishes his
credibility on arguments and claims throughout his
letter. Martin Luther King also appeals to ethos
by even stating the clergymens views throughout
his letter, which of course embodies the
alternative to his views. Lastly, Martin Luther
Kings Letter from Birmingham Jail has immense
emotion appeal, also known as pathos.
issue addressed in Kings letter is that of the
Birmingham police force being commended for
keeping order and preventing violence. This
section contains the greatest sense of pathos in
the letter. He starts out by talking about some of
the actions that the police force took, such as
letting dogs loose on the people and their
treatment of the people. He states that he saw the
dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent
Negroes. He says that the clergymen would not so
quickly commend the police if they observed their
ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes in the city
jail; if they were to watch them push and kick old
Negro man and young boys; if they were to observe
them refuse the give the demonstrators food
because they wanted to sing their grace together.
Martin Luther Kings strongest appeal was to Logos.
Although his appeals to ethos and pathos were
brilliant, if his letter was not consistent, or
logical, the quality of ethos and pathos would
have been diminished. The logos is the persuasive
appeal that pulls everything together.
The case of
Kings Letter from Birmingham Jail is an excellent
example of this theory. It is because of this that
the letters appeal to logos is the strongest and
most effective of the three..
Research essay sample on Analysis Of Martin Luther Kings Letter From Birmingham Jail