This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Analysis Of Martin Luther King's Speech I Have A Dream

2109 words - 9 pages

Analysis of Martin Luther King’s Speech I Have a Dream
According to George Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language, the English language is becoming “decadent” (694). Political prose has intentionally used vagueness, exhausted idioms, and inaccuracies in order to “make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind,” as well as to blot out truths that do not serve politician’s purposes (Orwell 703). While politicians bring these characteristics of bad language into our culture we, the people, spread them by repetitively imitating political writing. Orwell’s solution to bad English is to eliminate worn-out metaphors, similes, and ...view middle of the document...

This example gives the listener a clearer perception of what it was like to be a Negro in America in the 1960’s. Two more examples of commendable metaphors in King’s speech are “whirlwinds of revolt” and “shake the foundations of our nation” (1). These fresh metaphors help the listener to better understand King’s message by supplying a picture to be associated with his meaning.
Orwell states in his essay “let the meaning choose the word, not the other way around” (702). In other words, do not use words or phrases that are hackneyed or that have been “set in place by some else” (Orwell 699). Instead of using old worn-out phrases, Orwell instructs writers to be precise; construct their own words and phrases with the intent of making your meaning as clear as possible. An illustration of choosing words for their meaning in King’s address is “we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence” (2). When King says “physical violence” in this sentence, he means exactly that. King, however, does make use of ready-made phrases “set in place by some one else” (699). Phrases such as “blow off steam”, “rude awakening”, and “it would be fatal” are examples of ready-made phrases of which Orwell would not approve because they produce vagueness (King 1). Most of the words in King’s speech are carefully chosen for meaning, not vague, or confusing; however, some phrases are ready-made. Choosing words for their meaning helps him to accomplish clear and concise communication.
Another positive characteristic of King’s speech is its concreteness. According to Prentice Hall Reference Guide, the definition of concrete words is “ concrete words refer to people and things that can be perceived by the senses” (213). Words in King’s address such as, “Negro”, “white”, “black man”, “Mississippi”, “Tennessee”, and “Jail” are representation of this concreteness (1-4). These commonly known nouns help listeners to clearly understand who, where, and what King is talking about. Additionally, King uses concrete descriptions, such as, “We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel” describing discrimination in lodging against blacks (2). Although most of his address is concrete, he does include some abstract words. Several examples of these unclear words that King uses are, “reality”, “justice”, “equality”, “freedom”, and “dignity” (1-4). These nouns, according to Orwell, have different meanings for different people, and are, therefore, vague. Orwell also believes that Latin or French based words “increase slovenliness and vagueness” (697). Therefore, he would classify King’s use of the words, “magnificent” “marvelous” and “fatal” as “pretentious diction” (1,2; Orwell 696)
King composed his speech with sentences that are simple and to the point. He generally does not use terms that are confusing or vague. An example of his simplicity is “now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s...

Other Essays Like Analysis of Martin Luther King's Speech I Have a Dream

Rhetorical Analysis of Mlk Jr's I Have a Dream

1211 words - 5 pages Rhetorical Analysis Paper Martin Luther King Jr.: I Have a Dream According to Aristotle, there are three ways for a speaker to persuade his audience: ethos, logos, and pathos ("American rhetoric: Aristotle's rhetoric - selected moments," n.d.). Aristotle noted that a speech should “engage both the rational and non-rational elements of the listener's soul” (Wardy, 1996, p. 63). The speaker must have credibility with their audience and appear

I Have a Dream Essay

1320 words - 6 pages “I have a Dream” ( I Have a Dream Speech - The U.S. Constitution Online ) was one of the most famous speeches addressed by Martin Luther King, Jr. which affected the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the well-known civil rights leaders. He entered the civil rights movement through Montgomery Bus-Boycott. After the Montgomery Bus-Boycott Martin Luther King, Jr. made a lot of speeches from what some of them then became

I Have a Dream

696 words - 3 pages : Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech entitled “I have a Dream” on August 28, 1963. The overall meaning of Dr. King’s famous speech was equality. He dreamt of equality across America because America is so divided. He dreamt

I Have a Dream

1147 words - 5 pages Trying to Achieve a Dream ENGL 1323- Section 030 By: Albert Rowe August 28, 1963 is a date that will live in mortality among American citizens, it was the day that one man moved an entire country, and this man single-handedly brought an entire race together using only his words. Dr. Martin Luther’s “I have a Dream Speech” is one of the most important and influential speeches ever given. This speech was given in Washington D.C

Martin Luther King Jr Speech

647 words - 3 pages Phase 3 Individual Project Speech #1: Martin Luther King “ I’ve been to the Mountaintop” 1. How did the speaker gain the audience’s attention? The way he gain the audience attention by going straight to the issue that he wanted to talk about 2. Explain the topic and purpose of the speech. The topic was that he had a believed that one day America would change their ways and see everyone as equal but he could not do this alone. He

Martin Luther King Speech Analisis

728 words - 3 pages Notes from Dr. King's speech: Pay close attention to the references and metaphors he employs. His use of language is incredibly rich, no term or phrase is included accidentally! 1963, the speech is delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. This is important! Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 which officially made the practice of slavery illegal in

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream

1614 words - 7 pages came a long way, but the history and future is still effected by fiverse reaces. Martin Luther King, Jr. has used several resources to bring out the best in the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. has written speeches, lead marches, and inspired most of the world together as a whole to change the massive issues that have determined life or death of many. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech progressively changes the world every day. "I Have a Dream" by

Analysis Essay of "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King

1132 words - 5 pages Analysis Essay of "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King. On April 16 1963, in the town of Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King was thrown in jail for participating and organizing a non-violent protest in the city streets against segregation. During King's stay in the Birmingham jail, the eight clergymen from Alabama published a statement in the newspapers condemning Kings actions with hope to suppress the demonstrations

Martin Luther King Rhetorical Analysis

818 words - 4 pages Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King’s Speech “I Have a Dream” Likita M. Taylor ITT-Tech English 1320: Composition I November 12 2012 Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King’s Speech “I Have a Dream” “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” These are the opening words of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech”, which he

Martin Luther King Speach Analysis

965 words - 4 pages Martin Luther King – I have a dream Lavet af: Emilie Ina-Rose Voigt Venningbo – 2.x – Tårnby Gymnasium – 2013 The priest, Martin Luther King, who held the speech “I Have a Dream” in front of the Lincoln Memorial, at August 28, 1963. It was held in front of a lot of African American, who were fighting for their rights to be just as “normal” and has a many rights as the white people. Martin Luther King is the sender of the speech

Martin Luther King Jr. As A Man Of Courage

1432 words - 6 pages speeches. King was the last speaker of the day and gave his famous "I Have a Dream Speech." He began referring to the lack of progress over the last hundred years since Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and by the time he finished he strayed from his prepared speech to one drawn from past sermons and the inspiration of the moment (LaBlanc 133). This movement proved to be extremely successful and improved King's stature as a leader of national

Related Papers

Essay On Martin Luther Kings's "I Have A Dream" Speech

2052 words - 9 pages speeches. His diction and rhetoric was stirring and carried much weight when it was used in conjunction with his many biblical references and language. In his perhaps most famous speech, I Have a Dream, King's opening lines that echo and emulate their originator, President Lincoln, a revolutionary icon and legend in his own time, are the same opening words of conceivably America's other most recognized lecture; the Gettysburg Address. King's

Martin Luther King Jr's I Have A Dream Speech

584 words - 3 pages Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used symbolism and references during his famous " I have a dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. He used personal experiences and also experiences from the Civil Rights Movement. During his speech he also referred to American History and used metaphors and repetition to strengthen and enrich his famous speech.Dr. King described personal experiences when he said "the Negro is still

Martin Luther King I Have A Dream

1182 words - 5 pages Martin Luther King ‘I have a dream’ Chief Seattle-Letter to the United States President Analysis and Comparison During the mid-20th century,racism was a huge issue in the United States.The most prominent was the racism towards African-Americans.Although all blacks were supposed to be free from slavery ,under a corrupt law system,people of colour were victimized mercilessly. Matin Luther King was a Christian church minister ,and believed in

A Comparison Of The Declaration Of Independence And King's I Have A Dream

1285 words - 6 pages       Every individual has their own definition of freedom.  Depending on time, place, religion, or race, this definition varies, but essentially comes back to one point: all men, regardless of anything, are created equally, and therefore have a right to be free.  "The Declaration of Independence," by Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" are two works addressing this concern.  Although Jefferson and King led