Monday, February 9, 2015


Salvador Lopez

English 5B

Professor Baer

February 9, 2015
Logos analysis on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Henry David Thoreau

After reading both the letter and article from both authors. I noticed both authors try to make their point heard through out their writings. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his letter to the clergy men to inform them all about the non-violent protests and their beliefs. He felt like the people from Birmingham were being treated unfairly and unequal. He wanted to spread equality throughout the country. Then, Henry David Thoreau felt like the government gets into peoples ways and felt like if you put a lot of men in charge they will seem to make bad decisions. Throughout his writing he expresses how he feels towards the government. However, I for one feel like Dr. King Jr used less Logos than Thoreau.

Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. himself writes, "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." In other words, Dr. King Jr. believes that some laws are unjust due to their unfairness or inequality. I agree that some people have a right to morally but responsibly disobey unjust laws if they do not equalize. Ethos plays into factor, since his character answered that there is two types of laws unjust and just. He strongly believes there is two types of laws since one advocates breaking and then obeying such laws.
However, in Thoreaus writing he doesn't use authorities or examples he just using a deductive type of reasoning. 
For example Thoreau writes, “The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it." What Thoreau is basically trying to say in my belief is that people have chosen to execute their will towards the government; whereas, they do not know that the government can easily abuse their will before the people can act against it. This claim is a logos statement because it he is trying to persuade us by the use of reasoning. 

In conclusion, both writings share logos, but Dr. Kings writing sides more with inductive and Thoreau sides more with the deductive reasoning. Ultimately, these are both good writings that are trying to get their point heard throughout everyone. 

1 comment:

  1. Salvador,

    You're mostly on the right track with this entry (King's argumentation is mostly inductive, and Thoreau's is mostly deductive), but the examples you provide from King's argument are examples of ethos and not logos within that piece.