I Have a Dream Speech: Analysis Essay

Eminent civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the largest civil rights rally of all time assembled in Washington. DC in 1963. The March came to a halt in forepart of the Lincoln Memorial and it was here that King made his celebrated “I Have a Dream” address. He could non hold chosen an appropriate topographic point to make it for it had a symbolic value. He gave his address before the memorial of a President who. through his address Gettysburg and his Emancipation Proclamation. stated that all work forces are created equal. something King echoed in his address.

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He reminded his audience about it when he made reference of Lincoln as “a great American. ” In fixing his address. he derived his ideas and thoughts from the Bible. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the Declaration of Independence. His audience was non merely the black people present but besides the Whites as good. But King besides addressed his address non merely to them but to anyone else who were considered marginalized in American society. non merely by race but by credo. viz. Jews. ( other ) Protestants and Catholics whose differing beliefs were considered “alien” if non “hostile” by mainstream American society.

He made reference of them at the terminal of his address. His address is divided into two parts. The first portion served more of a history lesson to the inkinesss and to the Whites whom he felt neglected or pretended non to cognize. Using repeat. he recited the litany of the subjugation and favoritism the Negro people had to digest. He used such phrases as “hundred old ages later” to recite these discourtesies committed against the Negroes by segregation and the Jim Crow Laws. foregrounding the Son of the address.

He would farther add more of their grudges through the repeated usage of other phrases “now is the time” and “we can ne’er be satisfied” to drive place the points he raised. He would use repeat once more at the 2nd portion of his address. This was something King wished to remind the black common people. The latter paragraph was intended for both inkinesss and Whites likewise. Furthermore. utilizing metaphor. he likened Washington. DC to a bank ( of justness ) and the ground for coming here was to hard currency the proverbial cheque issued to them by the Establishing Fathers.

It was during these parts ot the address that underscore his usage of ethos which he used efficaciously and he had the advantage owing to his racial background which enabled him to talk with strong belief ( King ) . Furthermore. being a sermonizer and a adult male of God. he besides made usage of scriptural transitions to drive place his point. citing transitions from the Old Testament prophets Amos. “justice axial rotations down like Waterss. and righteousness like a mighty stream” ( New American Bible. Amos 5:24 ) and from Isiah. “and the glorification of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together” ( Isiah 40:4-5 ) .

The 2nd portion of the address evokes a sense of hope which served as the poignancy of the address. While King painted a instead dark image of American society in the first portion. one might acquire the impresson he was promoting revolution or civil war. But King dispelled any of these false impression by stating “We must forever carry on our battle on the high plane of self-respect and discipline” ( King ) . He exhorted inkinesss to turn out their worth as citizens of the United States by carry oning themselves in a civilised mode to turn out their disparagers incorrectly.

Even though he was cheering inkinesss to lift up to the juncture. he was besides ask foring the Whites. every bit good as other racial or cultural group to enjoin them in the chase of existent integrity and he punctuated this in the portion when he would repeatedly utilize the sentence “I have a dream. ” He farther reaffirmed his message by enjoining all people of all backgrounds to fall in custodies and come together. saying they are all God’s kids and as such are equal in His eyes ( King ) .

In decision. King’s “I Have a Dream” address is non merely a important historical address. but is something rich in literary item as King made wise usage of assorted literary devices. in add-on to his background and preparation. to drive place his points. While on one manus. he revealed the truth of American society. he besides gave it hope and that it is possible to alter American society for the better. As an epilogue. the events that followed his address validated everything he said though he did non populate to see it.


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