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

2052 words - 9 pages

MLK Jr. Analysis EssayNot often does a revolutionary such as Martin Luther King Jr. come along, and whenever one such person does, the earth trembles as their shockwaves of change are felt. King's pressure of reform for equality during the civil rights movements of the 1960's was felt as a predominant force in those times. Until his untimely assassination in 1968, King's main tool in conveying his powerful messages to the masses was through his 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 ...view middle of the document...

Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood."It goes on to threaten the problems that will occur if the urgency of this problem of racial mistreatment is continually overlooked. This reinforcement of his point is an attempt to leave a lasting impression on the audience, keeping them in the frame of mind that they were in upon first hearing the speech. The tone also serves as a warning of sorts to all those that have yet to realize the growing unrest regarding the civil rights, or lack thereof. Another tool that sends out a subliminal message of urgency and importance is the tense that King uses. The blending of present with an accent towards future tense, and past (regarding to the dream reference) with an accent pointing to the present sends the audience a message that the content of this speech is imperative and not only should, but must be done. This is accomplished by referencing time orientations further ahead than they where they actually occur. The imperative nature created dictates that this problem requires addressing quickly to avoid any further complications: the problem being the racial discrimination and unfair treatment of blacks. This affirmation of a problem and the need to remedy it led to aAnother literary tool used by King in his attempt to gain more followers was his demolition of racial barriers. He wisely used a nonexclusive way of speaking so as to incorporate white supporters for his peaceful protests. He broke down racial barriers with the use of terms such as we, and together that implied brotherhood that perseveres over racial differences. It was these differences that called King to address the black population about the domineering white supremacists that were pro segregation, however King's methods differed greatly from those other currently being implemented. King included all races to combat this civil rights battle for the cause of equality. "I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers." This imagery of brotherhood and togetherness is illustrated in various other points throughout the piece, most of them preceded by an "I have a dream" that signifies the creed of King. However, King remains loyal to his roots with messages of ghettos and 'Negro'. He speaks motivationally of the sad state of affairs of that time's perception of the black population and their role; "We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until...

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