Compare and Contrast essay
1960s was a crossroad for African-Americans, they are facing the turning point of their lives, and they got to choose their future at that point. At the same time, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm both gave speeches about rights of African-Americans. Martin Luther King, Jr. was disappointed about the clergy for attacking the members of the black non-violent civil rights movement, he felt shame because he is a minister, and he thinks help black is the right thing to do but not attack them. In Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech, Malcolm is telling that African-Americans now should make choice either to trust American democracy and gain equality which is the ballot or use force to solve the issue which means the bullet. In Malcolm’s mind, they’re either going to have to push harder for their rights, or they’re going to have to physically fight the system. Both speeches are convictive and passionate. Using of rhetorical strategies really gave too speeches extra points. Rhetorical strategies is big part in both speeches, two speeches use them with some differences.
Ethos which appeals to writer’s character tells audiences about writer’s knowledge and how credible the argument is. Martin Luther King, Jr. starts his speech with “My dear Fellow Clergymen” and Malcolm X starts it with “Mr. Moderator, Brother Lomax, brothers and sisters, friends and enemies.” King’s salutation makes people feel amiable but Malcolm’s salutation makes me feel serious but also has a sense of humor. For me, I think Malcolm did a better job on the beginning, he call people his brother and sisters, he thinks he has friends here but also has enemies here. His rigorous and regard about audiences make people trust him more.
For Pathos which appeals to emotion of the writer or the speaker, in King’s speech it says: “I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes.” He used his own emotion to move his audiences, the phrase “none of you” probably got audiences’ attention. He is looking for underlying causes; he felt all African-Americans are looking for the underlying causes. Malcolm’s pathos: “So it’s time in 1964 to wake up. And when you see them coming up with that kind of conspiracy, let them know your eyes are open. And let them know you got something else that’s wide open too. It’s got to be the ballot or the bullet.” He was encouraging the audiences with his great emotion, he was hoping that audiences could have the same emotion inside as he has, he was asking them to show other people that their eyes are open and they could see everything, others could not bully African-Americans like they usually do anymore. I like Malcolm’s Pathos more because I could imagine when he was saying this sentences, I could hear the hurrah from the audiences, I could see how intense they are how they encouraged by Malcolm.
Logos always make most sense in any article, it appeals to reason. In King’s speech he talks about law, there is a sentence: “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” Somehow I feel like this sentence is wrong, it is logical but it is not right, I never thought that the just of law is based on human personality. For Malcolm’s logical sentence: “Whenever you are going after something that is yours, you are within your legal rights to lay claim to it. And anyone who put forth any effort to deprive you of that which is yours, is breaking the law, is a criminal.” This makes sense a lot, things belong to you is yours, nobody else could step in and violate your rights. So I feel Malcolm’s logo is better.
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