Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Analysis

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great leader leading the African American from the darkest time of the history. He tried to fix the divided nation splitting by racial discrimination around the Sixties. On August 28, 1963, a large group of civil rights advocates gathered during the March at Washington for jobs and freedom. Martin Luther King had given his greatest speech in front of two hundred thousand people at the Lincoln Memorial. In the famous “ I have a dream” speech, King used metaphor and repetition to evoke memories, connect emotionally, and remind his audience of black history.

Martin Luther King effectively used strong imagery of words in order to bond with the audiences whom can relate to this situation. This particular rhetorical device is known as metaphor, and it has appeared several occasions in the speech. For instance, “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” King cleverly used the transformation of sands and a rock to reference the nation with unjustified laws towards the African American. The metaphor is fairly simple and understandable for the audiences, but it also forms an essential comparison in the sentences. In Dorothy Seyler’s book, she claims that metaphors state directly, or imply, the comparison. In another examples “…American has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds….” King used check and insufficient funds as metaphors, and a bad check to represent the white population of America that had mistreated the African American for a long time, and did not give them the respect and equality they deserved. This shows the emotion of King with his furious statement towards the racial discrimination. According to Seyler; Metaphors, like connotative words, are so powerful, so emotionally compelling that we respond to then even if we are not conscious of their use. “…The Negro lives on a...
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