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Using the Rhetorical Triangle "letter from Birmingham Jail" Dr. Martin Luther King

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Using the Rhetorical Triangle "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Dr Martin Luther King

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., uses the various forms of the rhetorical triangle logos, ethos, and pathos, in "Letter From Birmingham Jail". " In considering the role that ethos plays in the rhetorical analyses, you need to pay attention to the details, right down to the choice of words or, in a visual argument, the shapes and colors" (Lunsford & Ruszkiewicz 106). Logos is explained, " In analyzing most arguments, you'll have to decide whether an argument makes a plausible claim and offers good reasons for you to believe it" (Lunsford & Ruszkiewicz 107). Finally, there is Pathos, " Emotional appeals (sometimes called appeals to pathos) are powerful tools for influencing what people think and believe. We all make decisions-even important ones-based on our feelings" (Lunsford & Ruszkiewicz 38). In examining King's letter, the area where he uses pathos, logos, and ethos, will become evident along with his point of view of the unjust treatment in Birmingham.

In "Letter from Birmingham Jail" King is addressing his fellow clergymen and the "white moderate". There was a misunderstanding of what his reasoning behind his involvement in the demonstrations were. "King was asked by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to assist in the fight for civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama, where an SCLC meeting was to be held" (King 151). King was placed in jail after participating in nonviolent protest, along with other protesters.

"While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities 'unwise and untimely'. Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms" (King 151). In this paragraph alone, King uses a combination of ethos, pathos, logos, and degree. In the text, " Arguments based on degree are so common that people barely notice them" (Lunsford & Ruszkiewicz 88). " I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against 'outsiders coming in'. I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty-five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights" (King 151-152).

These first few paragraphs are a combination of ethos, logos, and pathos. The ethos in the paragraph is when King brings to light that he is an insider as opposed to an outsider. King is not just a man who chooses to protest in an outside community, but is the president of the Conference. King is a member of the clergy speaking to others like himself and he is a part of an organization that has a chapter in the state. Logos is found when he states, pointedly that his secretaries have more to do in working for him than answering every response that is written

about him. King wants



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