The Rhetorical Styles Of King


Martin Luther King Jr. and Toni Morrison are two of the many great writers of the late twentieth century. Their styles follow rhetorical guidelines to create persuasive arguments and clear writing. To show how they accomplish this I will be comparing the rhetorical style used by King in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” with that of Morrison in “Friday on the Potomac.” Each of these works result from strong opinions surrounding the issue of racial equality in the United States, and each appeals to the desire of achieving that equality. In order to address a sensitive topic such as racism and achieve the desired results, the authors had to implement various ...

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means “worthy of belief,” and deals with establishing credibility. Pathos involves “putting hearers…into the right frame of mind with regard to certain issues and the speakers persuasive intent” (Smith 83). Logos includes the arguments that are used to make a point, and involves the basis upon which the arguments were made. The use of these three elements in harmony with each other will produce a persuasive argument according to Aristotle. Being that he did “write the book on rhetoric,” I will be using the ideas of Aristotle as the blueprint for effective writing to which I will compare the works of King and Morrison.
First I will examine Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter which embodies all of the characteristics outlined by Aristotle. The most clearly presented element in King’s article is the use of ethos. King establishes himself as a credible and learned man early in the letter so that the reader has an immediate ...

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and carried their ‘thus saith the Lord’…and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the Gospel of Jesus Christ…so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town” (Corbett 302). He also employs this method when responding to the clergymen’s accusations calling him an extremist. In rebuttal to the accusation, he states that Jesus was an extremist as was Amos, Paul, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, Abe Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson. All of these characters are notable and considered heroes in one way or another. Comparing himself to them causes the argument of the clergymen to lose its strength and further ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/4/2007 12:09:38 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2793
Pages: 11

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