Reflection on "I Have a Dream" Speech

Topics: African American, Martin Luther King, Jr., Simile Pages: 3 (947 words) Published: April 28, 2013
The speech “I Have a Dream,” by Martin Luther King Jr., is looked at as an argumentative speech. He is calling the Negroes to rise above their persecution and that all men, women, and children should be free. King made that calling solely on his values. He valued the principle of all people no matter race, should be treated as equals. After reading and analyzing the speech; I made different observations about the speech, such as, cited documentation, imagery, repetition, similes, and metaphors. Dr. King uses these literary devices throughout his whole speech to persuade his listeners to nonviolence actions towards racism and unity. King had cited from the Emancipation Proclamation when he stated, “Five score years ago, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today.” This little bit of citation gives a lot of information. Through context clues, one can infer that Dr. King is referring to Abraham Lincoln (who is a symbolic sign of freedom). You can also infer where this speech is taken place at (in front of the Lincoln Memorial). The use of the cited documentation is important to use because it adds more power to it; he used a more implicit style opposed to using the explicit style. That approach brought on more feelings and imagery. For example, when reading the part about Abraham Lincoln, I pictured Martin Luther King Jr. standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial reciting this speech to several thousand people who had all gathered to hear (what is now known as one of his most famous speeches), not only in black history but in American history in general.

Dr. King used numerous illustrations of imagery throughout his speech, for example, he stated in his speech “We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.” That paradigm of imagery makes the audience feel close to home because they had been protesting in a nonviolent approach. A reader can picture the protest of the Negroes with picket signs, boycotts, and marches in their heads....
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