Letters from a Birmingham Jail Essay

1534 Words7 Pages
Letters from a Birmingham Jail

Aristotle is a very citable man when it comes to the way we think today. His rhetoric techniques are still being used in today's society. The Neo-Aristotelian Criticism is three different appeals of persuasion. This is ethos, pathos and logos, which makes one heck of a convincing argument. Ethos gives credibility, pathos shows emotion and logos uses words. In the text, Letter from Birmingham Jail, we find many examples of the criticism. Martin Luther King Jr. is writing a letter from inside the jail of Birmingham in April of 1963. This letter King wrote was in response to a letter he received from the religious leaders after King is making a stand against the racial issues in Alabama. These leaders
…show more content…
has a sense of right and wrong under a religious point of view. King goes on to talk about how this affiliation is across the south and this goes to show the ethics, because these eighty-five groups who believe the same thing, can't be wrong for what they believe in.

On the fifth page of the text, King gives an example of Adolf Hitler and what he did was "legal" in Germany. Hitler was the maker of his own rules for his country, and due to his status didn't make his actions correct. At that time I'm sure there were those who came against Hitler and were punished for it, just as King was being punished for his stand. Ethics is based on societies views as right and wrong, not on what is written down in black and white. Today as we look at history we see that Hitler was wrong for what did, and we see King was right for wanting a better nation for everyone including African-Americans.

Top of the seventh page is another great example of ethos in this letter. Martin Luther King Jr. makes reference to Jesus, Amos, Paul, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson for all being an extremist. King views himself as an extremist for equality. I think King first makes note of naming Jesus to refer back to the bases of the clergymen's religion. All these men that he names were men who stood alone in someway for what they believed in. They all stood for what was right according to what we see today, but not at the time they made a move.

More about Letters from a Birmingham Jail Essay

Open Document