Analytical Essay on Why We Can’t Wait
by Martin Luther King
Why We Can’t Wait written by Martin Luther King is a book that conveys the actual mind-set of many black Americans toward their freedom and emancipation. The social conditions for Blacks during the 1960’s were not that of freedom and liberty, but that of oppression and segregation. Martin Luther King makes use of a variety of stylistic, narrative, and persuasive devices to display his image of the harsh reality of the supposed “freedom” for blacks during the slowly progressing civil rights movement of the 60’s. King incorporates a myriad of stylistic devices that shape and develop the theme of the passage in the book. Through the periodic use of rhetorical questions such as, “Why does misery constantly haunt the Negro?” King reiterates the perception of there being no freedom and prosperity for the Negro and that emancipation was merely a hoax. With words including, censored, restricted, confined, and interpose, the author’s diction emphasizes the deception of the blacks by the white people and the attempt by whites to maintain the status quo of their superiority over the black race. Also, Martin Luther King’s first hand experiences of the injustices he writes about allow him to create imagery that is clear and to the point. For example the statement, “I see a young Negro boy. He is sitting on a stoop in the front of a vermin-infested apartment house in Harlem. The stench of garbage in the halls.” gives a direct and concise statement of the living conditions of young Negro boys living in Harlem. He had first hand knowledge of these conditions during his very own childhood. King’s magnificent use of stylistic devices develops his main idea in this passage from Why We Can’t Wait. There are a variety of narrative aspects within this piece of literature. King writes in a first person viewpoint in order to show that he has witnessed the situations of racism and bigotry that he writes about. While reading...
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