Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail Essay

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Every writer needs an inspiration to craft a brilliant literary piece. Whether this inspiration is tangible or intangible, it is still necessary. Some forms of inspiration come as passionate love while others appeal as injustice. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" was a response to "A Call for Unity" by eight white clergymen. His inspiration for writing the letter was the clergymen's unjust proposals and the letter allowed him to present his rebuttal. Martin Luther King Jr. effectively crafted his counter argument by first directly addressing his audience, the clergymen, and then using logos, pathos, and ethos to refute his opponent's statements and present his own perspective.

After stating the general purpose of
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Thus, he is attempting to create the "dialogue" through use of logos but also incorporates word choice and pathos.

While he used a mixture of logos and pathos to explain why a negotiation was necessary, Martin Luther King Jr. utilizes a mixture of ethos and logos to follow his direct statement towards his audience concerning the obedience of laws, or lack thereof. He initially identifies the clergymen's claim, "You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws." This then leads into a discussion about morals and the types of laws: "just and unjust." By logically breaking down the types of laws and using reason to portray situations when laws can and should be broken, King is essentially guiding the audience through his rationalization. This leads into a quote by St. Augustine, "an unjust law is no law at all." His strict moral adherence convinces the reader that he is trustworthy and honest. His morality helps establish ethos because it makes him a more reliable leader with integrity. This allows him to lead into his more logical counter argument as he links segregation to unjust laws. By creating a connection between unjust laws and segregation, he presents his