Letter from Birmingham City Jail, Ethos, Pathos, and Logos used in King's Letter. Use of ethics, emotions, and logic.

Essay by marymaryHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.7

Downloaded 185 times

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King wrote the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in an exceedingly effective way. King used his intelligence, virtue, and honesty to write an appropriate reply to the criticism he received. He also used logic and emotional appeal.

In the first paragraph King says, "... Since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and your criticisms are sincerely set forth..." He gives the ministers importance. He recognizes that these men are of "genuine food" and accepts their sincere criticism with humbleness. Dr. Martin Luther King says, "I am sure that each of you would want to go beyond the superficial social analyst who looks merely at effects and does not grapple with underlying causes." He demonstrated that he knows and respects that the ministers are intelligent and that they are in agreeance in some aspects. He later says, "But I have tried to say that this is normal and healthy discontent can be channelized through the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action.

Now this approach is being dismissed as extremist. I must admit that I was initially disappointed in being categorized." King expresses his beliefs as to be called an extremist. He does not believe his nonviolent actions should be labeled "extremist." Dr. King says, "If I have said anything in this letter that is an overstatement of the truth and is indictive of an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me." In this statement, he not only apologizes for any exaggerations, he also shows a great deal of respect to them.

King says," Anyone who lives in the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere in this country." King gives the ministers a feel of belonging. As long as they live in the Unites States they will be accepted.