Letter From A Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis

Decent Essays
While Martin Luther King Jr. was locked up in a jail he received a letter from eight clergymen. They reached out to King in a letter that is called “A Call for Unity.” In this letter, they are telling king that people needed to stand up and try to make a change by peaceful protesting to get their point across (“A Call for Unity”). King then replies to their letter with a letter of his own which is known as “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” King states that he gets a lot of letters and doesn’t reply to them but he thought that the clergymen meant good so he would try to answer their questions to the best of his ability (King). Also in the letter, he focuses on what is going on in Birmingham at the time and tells about himself and how he oversaw a lot of planning comities (King). In the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” King uses three main ways to connect with the audience of the letter and those are ethos, pathos, and logos.
Ethos can be a very effective way of reaching out to the people, because it is showing what kind of person that you are and in a way what is expected out of you. Ethos is sometimes most affective at the begging of the letter because it is laying out the background of the author. King states “I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference…” (King). When King made this statement towards the beginning of his letter it was showing that he had power over people. Not only was he showing that he had power he was also showing that he was a Christian and worked with others to do something that they believed in. King then goes on to state “I cannot sit by idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham”. Some people may not understand why I would label this ethos, I label it that way because he is showing that he cares about things that is a distance away from him and he does not just care about what is happening in the city that he is currently living in. By King saying that he is a Christian people would expect a lot out of him, because he a person that people look up to daily. King is also a person that people would go to for advice with him being a president.
Pathos in my opinion could be one of the best ways to connect with your
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