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I Have a Dream Analysis, Mlk

By JPJ526 Nov 30, 2008 685 Words
“I Have a Dream” Argument 9/17/2008 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of the most powerful, and riveting speeches of all time, on August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The speech was titled, “I Have a Dream” and King was later awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his influential words. The speech is very organized and well researched, which makes it a very effective argumentative piece of writing. It has been described as “Sermon-like” due to his writing style, as King was a Baptist Minister. The speech is organized into two parts, which helps the reader (or listener, depending on if you’re reading the speech, or listening to the recording) retain the information and important parts that he wishes to get across to his audience. In the first part of the speech, King is reminding all Americans of all the racial injustice that is going on in our country. The language in the metaphors that King used in the first half of the writing are the most effective words I have ever read that instill the need for action, and also of the horrific conditions in which Negros have been forced to live. King writes, “…Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of witheringinjustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.” And then went on to write, “America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked “_insufficient funds_.” By using this type of language, King could reach out and urge action to anyone that listened. The second half of the speech is focused on painting the picture of racial integration and equality. The most famous paragraph of the entire speech lies in the second half of the writing. The repetition of the phrase, “I have a dream” before and after the statements are a cry out to the people of what this nation should be. Using this repetition, King keeps his audience involved in every word he has to say, because it offers them a new hope for a better life. King’s words are very powerful, especially in the second portion of the writing. He knew that in order to be heard by everyone, he must include writing in his speech that everyone would be able to sympathize and relate to. Kings words offered freedom and a vision for a new country that everyone could by into. At the end, he brings the idea of everyone once again together for a better future by saying, “This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." In my opinion, Kings argument is stronger when you hear the speech, as opposed to reading the written version. Although there are very little omissions in the oral version compared to the written version, his method of delivery had a large impact on me. Being that King was a Baptist Minister, he had a great talent for speaking publicly, and this speech is no exception. I like his ability to stop his words when the crowd begins to cheer. His method of pausing his words and the tone of his voice emphasizes the remarkable emotion behind his words. During the time this speech was given, there was an immense amount of racial tension in our country. African Americans were denied many rights and privileges that whites were given, so it was a very bold move to deliver any type of speech to the American people about any type of change, especially a speech given by a black man. I believe his audience (not just the people in the 1960s, but also including people of today, who go back and listen to recording of the speech) can admire his courage to do so when a country was opposed to his viewpoint.

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