Examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail


1. 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.


2.You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation.


3.One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust.



1. But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.


2.We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights.


3.I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.



1. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here.  I am here because I have organizational ties here.


2.In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham.


3.You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern.

2 thoughts on “Examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

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