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I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.

Autor:   •  February 11, 2018  •  Essay  •  2,035 Words (9 Pages)  •  13 Views

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I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. is a motivational speech that was directed to all Americans. King said that 'We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal' (King p.4). By quoting one of the American forefathers in his speech, Martin Luther King Jr.’s outcry cemented the fact that regardless of race, class or gender all Americans were and still are entitled to equal treatment.  King’s speech is perhaps the most renowned speech of the civil rights movement, standing out as the most inspiring speech of the 21st century (Kirk). The speech was mainly narrative since it expressed the personal thoughts of the author. King used a tone that was descriptive, but also quite argumentative. Martin Luther King Jr. used challenging and exciting rhetoric to impact his audience. He did this through his use of symbolism, metaphorical imagery and powerful language to create a speech that is said to have paved way for the abolition of segregation (King 1). King was able to masterfully use his sensitive approach to the audience, his ingenious use of style, and inspirational tone to reach both black and white Americans and engage them in his dream in the fight for equality.

        Martin Luther King Jr. had an understanding for the somber audience that he was orating the ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ to on August 28, 1963. The audience was comprised mostly of black civil rights supporters who were religious; Americans interested in gaining freedoms and equality for their community. On saying ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their skin color but the content of their character,’ he reached out all the distraught and frustrated fathers and mothers of the racially underprivileged. However, despite the fact that he demanded racial justice in his speech, he also justified the American woes in terms of how violent the future of the civil rights movement was expected to become. King engaged the cadence of a Baptist preacher with the credibility of a man who was well-versed not only in the history of African-Americans in the United States, but America itself which placed him in position of a powerful orator who reached out to his audience by connecting with them on a higher level. This wisdom also gave him an insight into the future based on the behavioral patterns of the generations before his and those of his generation.

        In addition to this, Martin Luther King Jr. argued very strongly and enthusiastically in his speeches. His style was one of political dissertation, poetry, and often unplanned lecture, filled with content rich with language and imagery from the bible. MLK made multiple references to the bible and these references appealed to the religious black people who attended his speech because it was referencing the arrival of Jesus. This metaphorically gave the African-Americans a notion that Martin Luther King Jr. was indeed their black messiah.  During his I Have a Dream” speech he used detailed examples and repetition to emphasize his argument on his which was dream based on equality; which served to create some sort of poetry that would ring on people’s minds long after the civil movement was over. During his speech, King quotes, "I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream." He then goes on to quote, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

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