Nhat Nguyen Patrick Clayton Cantrell English 1010-051 23 October, 2012 Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech Amidst the bigotry and racial violence of the Civil Rights Movement, there stood a shining example of brotherhood, unity, and an undying thirst for equality.
In what was called the March of Washington, an approximated total of 200,000 individuals of all races– observers estimated that 75– 80% of the marchers were black and the rest were white and non-black minorities– took to the streets of Washington D.
C. on August 28, 1963 in an effort to raise awareness of the ongoing racial oppression in the work field and in everyday life. It was on this special day that the great Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most powerful and influential voices of the Civil Rights Movement, gave among history’s most memorable speeches. His speech, later happened referred to as the “I Have a Dream” speech, served to bring into light the oppression experienced daily by the African American population of the United States.
In his famous speech, King described the racial discrimination and social inequalities that live in the fantastic country whose creed clearly specifies “all guys are developed equal.” This made up the main function of his speech: to encourage and empower the participants and those in your home to challenge the prevalent discrimination and the status quo of the time. Bigotry had a stranglehold on all elements of life during the Civil liberty age. From youth, racial styles and themes were embedded into the very being of the kid. A huge selection of effects occurred from this.
Whites typically aged into adulthood with the belief that racial supremacy came from them due to the fact that of the color of their skin. The Majority Of African Americans, on the other hand, matured with beliefs quite contradictory to those of their white counterparts. Many aged with the preconceived notion that racial inferiority accompanied being black. Martin Luther King, in his speech, strove to end this narrow-minded method to race by motivating his audience to increase above what they as soon as accepted as a social norm and be the light that would lead that generation out of blind hatred for their fellow an. He preached brotherhood and equality and amazed the crowd when he required the instant awareness of the “promises of democracy” (King). He galvanized the crowd to rebel from the dark, remote “valley of partition” and enter into the “sunlit course of racial justice” (King). He closed this portion of his speech by once again repeating the value of instant action. He required justice for all of mankind, be they black, white, or any other race.
Besides the apparent reality that he was speaking with the audience present, King’s speech was implied for a much more comprehensive audience. Specifically, his speech was targeted at those who preferred to continue the economic and social oppression of African Americans. This might plainly be seen when King states, “And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a disrespectful awakening if the country returns to company as usual” (King). In this sentence, King focused his words against “those. “Those” are individuals who continued to overlook African Americans as equals. King wanted to make it known that he and millions alike would not stop till justice was dealt and democracy called through the land. In another specific example, King talks directly to “those” once again. “There are those who are asking the enthusiasts of civil liberties, ‘When will you be pleased? ‘” (King). He goes on to answer this question by saying that he and other civil liberties activists will never ever be pleased so long as oppression and discrimination remain an associated part of the United States’ culture.
He ensured individuals whose objectives were to physically, psychologically, and economically hinder African Americans that America will not experience rest or tranquility till all black guys, females, and children are granted their rights as residents. The speech was as much a message to those oppressed as it was to the oppressors. Martin Luther King’s speech was well formatted with regard to harmony, with each prior point flowing harmoniously into the next. It was arranged into two halves.
The first half depicted American society as a cesspool of intolerance, bigotry, and close-mindedness, and it likewise exposed the incongruence in between the styles of the American Dream and the suffering of African Americans. In the very first half of the speech, King called for action to ease these overriding styles in American society. In his “now is the time” paragraph, King highlighted to the audience that the time for action is now and declined gradualism. In his “we can never ever be pleased” paragraph, he set the conditions that need to be met prior to he and others like him can rest.
The 2nd half of the speech depicted the dream of a fairer, more ideal union, devoid of the shackles of segregation and racial discord. In the most unforgettable part of the speech, Martin Luther King notoriously stopped reading from his written speech and started to speak earnestly of his “dream” worrying the future of America. In the part of the speech that became its namesake, King repeatedly bellows the phrase, “I have a dream” (King). In a short 3-minute period, King gave among history’s most gorgeous pieces of rhetoric, summoning lively cheers from the masses of individuals.
King concluded his masterpiece by articulating to the crowd his vision of a democratic America, emancipated from the chains of prejudice. His dream was that individuals from all corners of society– different in color, culture, and beliefs– could one day gather together in unity with respect for one another. His extensive usage of metaphors, imagery, and repeating served to convince the audience to remain optimistic and faithful in the face of bias and despair. He appealed considerably to the crowd’s sense emotion and reasoning.
He also masterfully utilized anaphora and allusions on numerous events in his moving speech. From under the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, King fittingly began his speech mentioning Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. He started by stating “5 rating years ago” (King). This helped in setting the mood for the remainder of the speech and was especially poignant given that King was speaking from the steps on the Lincoln Memorial. King likewise alluded to the Declaration when speaking of “the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of joy. This allusion strongly repeated America’s promise to all her individuals. There are numerous allusions to Scriptural passages in the speech. Maybe among the most significant was when King warned the oppressors of civil liberties that he and everyone who challenged discrimination will never give up till “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a magnificent stream” (King). This was recommendation to Amos 5:24. It appealed remarkably to the audience’s emotions, stirring up shouts of “hallelujah” within the crowd. Metaphors were utilized throughout the speech to help emphasize and in some cases exaggerate the ppression experienced by the African American population throughout that period. King frequently compared discrimination to a desolate valley and the course to racial justice as a “sunlit” one. He would frequently explain injustice as a searing heat to intensify the pain that it caused. He explained African Americans’ poor economic position as a “lonely island of prosperity in the midst of a large ocean of product prosperity” (King). This assisted accentuate the situation that African Americans were in. King integrated anaphora and repeating in his speech in order to worry the importance of key themes.
Among the lower known anaphora utilized was King’s repeating of “one a century later on” (King). Here, King referred to the reality that 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Pronouncement, his people are still hindered by the weight of inequality. He repeated the expression “now is the time” (King) in an effort to inspire the audience to act immediately and to demand change that circumstances. The most famous and most often pointed out anaphora utilized was the repeating of the phrase “I have a dream” (King) Because passage King revealed his vision of a much better tomorrow for America.
He specified that even though he deals with difficulties, he still preserved that dream. This assisted to reinforce this part of his speech significantly. On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of history’s most beautifully carried out pieces of rhetoric. The language included in the speech helped communicate King’s message to America: obstacle discrimination and the status quo and pursue an equivalent society. This will reside on as one of King’s greatest contributions to the development of civil rights. Today, it remains a considerable part of King’s legacy.