Martin Luther King's Ethos In Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Martin Luther King’s Letter from Burmingham Jail Analysis Long have the promoters of social justice made the most of rhetorical strategies to persuade their opponents of their claims. The proponents of the movement for civil rights for African Americans made an intensive use of those strategies to promote their cause. From the jail of Birmingham, King wrote a letter to church leaders (8 clergymen) who had attacked his work for civil rights. King above all aimed this letter at the church leaders of the South. To persuade his readers, Martin Luther King, Jr. primarily employs Aristotle's three types of persuasion that are appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos. First, he appeals to his own reputation and wisdom. Second, he tries to arouse emotions…show more content…
desires to justify the importance and especially the authority of his participation in the events in Alabama to erect his ethos as respectable to his audience. Indeed, he must establish his authority as both a minister and a representative for African Americans to establish equality between him and the eight clergymen. This makes him credible to his audience and erases all potential condescendence. Furthermore, he plays with emotions to subside oppositions and reinforce his vision of the fight for Civil Rights. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s aim is to create a feeling of identification with the civil rights' cause in the mind of his readers in order to wipe out any segregating thinking. Finally, his audience is in a spirit of conciliation and therefore is ready to listen to his discourse. Henceforward, Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrates the reality of his claims and the legitimacy of his fight thanks to evidence and logic. In this way, he discloses his personal ability for debating and the African Americans' capacity for defending positions in forthcoming discussions. An important element of this Letter from Birmingham Jail is that Martin Luther King, Jr. concludes his letter with an appeal to peace and
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