Martin Luther King Jr-I Have a Dream

Topics: Black people, White people, African American Pages: 3 (1281 words) Published: March 25, 2011
Martin Luther King Jr was a Baptist Minister in 1960’s America. He fought for what he believed in, suffered for these beliefs and was a key person in the push for racial equality in the 50’s and 60’s, with a speech known as “I have a dream” that lead him to being the youngest male to receive a Nobel prize. The speech was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a crowd of 200 000 civil rights supporters, and was ranked the top speech of the 2oth century. As said by John Lewis a U.S. representative of the time, “dr. king had the power, the ability, and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a monumental area that will forever be recognized. By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, and he informed not just the people there, but throughout America and unborn generations”. In his speech he used several affective language features, these being repetition, figurative language, a changing persona and intertextuality. Through these language devices he was able to challenge and alter the attitudes the white people had towards colored people and the discrimination and inequality they faced. Repetition in this speech is used not only as a structural device but as a language feature. It generally used to re-emphasis an already spoken point, in this case it is used to tie six of the most powerful paragraphs in the speech together, Americas nation as a whole, referencing the past, referencing the present, prejudice, referencing the future and bringing forth the idea of general equality. Each of these points would be completely isolated from each other, be lost in the speech, not have as much impact and would not be as easily remembered, however Martin Luther King uses the line I HAVE A DREAM to draw the audience’s attention and place all these points together. Metaphors are used strongly in this speech. They allow you to associate concepts with concrete images and emotions, or to highlight the differences between the abstract...
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