Martin Luther King. Jr Speech Analysis - Part 2

Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech – I Have a Dream

In the speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., he uses many powerful metaphors that describe the urgency and importance of the change that needed to occur throughout the nation at that time - Martin Luther King. Jr Speech Analysis introduction. He mentions in the beginning of the speech that what he will present is going to be the “…greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of [the] nation.” Also, he really put emphasis on the level of injustice that was happening and encouraged all the African -Americans to get up, unite and fight for justice. The purpose of this speech was to bring the African-American’s hopes up and unite them so they could fight against racial discrimination as one. He starts his speech off by saying “our nation”. This gives a sense of togetherness to everyone right from the beginning. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses millions of African-Americans all the way across America. He also puts a lot of emotive language into his speech such as “Negro Slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.”

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This gives a deep impact on the minds of both people who actually have suffered through this, as well as people who don’t know what it’s like. Martin Luther King Jr. uses a lot of repetition in his speech to make everyone, especially the target audience, the African-Americans to feel the importance of the abuse that was being done to them. He repeats the words “one hundred years later…” a couple of times in the beginning of his speech. He puts emphasis on the fact that all through this time, there has been no change. This creates sympathy towards the innocent people who have suffered all through this time. It also shames the whole nation in an indirect way, for its negligence towards this matter for so long. Moreover, MLK uses many metaphorical phrases that express his feelings towards this matter. However, he does not disrespect the nation. One example of this might be when he says “…great vaults of opportunity of this nation.” This line describes how much potential the people have in this country. It gives an effect of security to the people. It assures them that if everyone had the same rights, they could do so many things to prove themselves. In addition, in his speech, MLK uses many words and phrases that express the urgency of the situation. One of the main ones in his speech is “…tranquilizing drug of gradualism”. Here, he is trying to say that making change slowly won’t do any good; instead it will delay the process even more and make the people lose their hopes completely. At the same time, MLK is also bringing people’s lost hopes up.

He uses the phrase “rise from the dark” in one place. He uses this to give strength to the people by saying that it’s time to get up and stand up and fight. It gives the effect that the black people have suffered for too long and now they are going to fight back and earn their rights. MLK uses the term “Negro” quite often throughout his speech. He does this to highlight the stereotypical image of the African-Americans and the prejudices that they faced in their everyday lives. He expresses the hardships of the African-Americans in many places. One of the most powerful lines he says is “…the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.” This expresses both the physical and mental torture that the African-Americans have been through. Last but not least, MLK makes the African-Americans seem equal to everybody else at many points in his speech. One example of this would be when says “…all of God’s children.” By using god’s name, he is creating a soft spot for people who believe in god and making them feel guilty for their actions towards the African- Americans. Another In this speech, MLK uses many powerful metaphors to persuade the white people to change their attitude towards the African-Americans. He uses a lot of emotive language as well as allusions to support his dream of having all men, black men and white men share equal rights.

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