January 24, 2013
English 10 Accelerated
The Powerful Techniques of King’s Speech
I have a dream. What do these four words mean to you? Do they inspire you to take action? “I Have a Dream” was delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963. It was a very compelling speech conveying his passion towards the black who suffered from the segregation in the United States. In the speech, King would call upon Americans to recognize the injustices of the nation and the discrimination that colored people faced. His speech received much recognition and was classified as a success. In order to achieve his success, he had to carefully plan out his thoughts with good ideas for people and use writing techniques such as metaphor, parallelism, and allusion.
From his enthusiastic delivery, to switching from reading a manuscript to speaking extemporaneously half way through the speech, to his extensive use of metaphors, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered “I Have a Dream” in brilliant fashion. King use of metaphors helped the reader’s understanding of the speech’s purpose. “This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice...” was one of the examples that he uses as he referred to the condition of African Americans in the United States. Another example was “It came as joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.” He describes it to be a joyous daybreak after many years of being slaves in America.
Throughout the speech, another scheme King uses frequently is parallelism, the strategy of repeating similar clauses, several times. Early in his speech, King writes “riches of freedom” and “security of justice” and then “justice rolls down like waters” and “righteousness like a mighty stream.” In these two examples, King is using parallelism to express that the African American wants justice and freedom by repeating them next...