I Have A Dream English Literature Essay

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In the short section of the speech, Martin Luther King begins by saying Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina… This quote is an example of repetition and would suggest that even if you go back in history, you would still receive a colossal amount of racism and discrimination, exactly what the black community had to endure. Also the use if this repetition would emphasise that racism is found in every state and in every country.

King then goes on describing how the situation is going to change "…somehow this situation can and will be changed" The use of these powerful verbs, 'can' representing courage and 'will' representing determination, emphasis to the audience that under any circumstances the situation shall change and change for the better. King does this very well as he used raised intonation to stress on the words 'can' and 'will'. King then directly addresses the audience, "I say to you today, my friends" This creates an immediate connection with the audience and would make them feel a part of a community and together, therefore making them engaged. This is supported by the cheering and applauding as well as a pause which continued for duration of 10 seconds.

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The frequent use of the words "I have a dream" reinforces to the audience understanding that if this dream became a reality, it could be life changing. The quote "It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream" Suggest that this dream can provide them their freedom, equality and rights. As a result the audience becomes engaged, this is supported by the applauding. King states that everyone should be equal "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" In this sentence King raises his voice when he approaches the word 'all'. Doing this would be significant because it stresses that every man will be equal not one or two.

King uses semantics, "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia" The word 'red' has many different meanings, but in this content it could mean; struggle, misery, blood etc. These meanings would summarise what black people had to go through during the period of racism. King uses figurative language which includes metaphors, an example of a metaphor is "…be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood" Here King paints an image in the audiences mind suggesting that anyone can sit together and play together whether your black, white or mixed, almost as if you had the freedom to choose. King also uses alliteration "where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" The words 'color' 'content' and 'character' are the example of alliteration. Using alliteration would grasp the audience's attention and avoid them from judging a person by their color in the future.

In the speech King uses biblical reference "I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; 'and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. '" This quote is a biblical reference (Isaiah 40:4 - 5), and it explains that you don't have to climb up big mountains and you don't have to go around dangerous places, but instead you shall receive a straight path leading into freedom, rights and equality. This is the vision King is trying to portray here.

Throughout the speech King uses personal pronouns to able to link with the audience, these include 'I', 'We', 'You' and 'Our'. The use of personal pronouns again creates unity with the audience as it includes them in the speech. This is an example of Lexis. King uses repetition to convey his confidence to the audience "With this faith, we will be able to hew out the mountains… With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords…With this faith, we will be able to work together…" Using this repetition also gains the confidence of the audience hence this is why they can trust him. Note that every time King says "With this faith" he raises his voice to give even more emphasis on how confident and dedicated he is to make a difference.

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Later on King describes how the future will turn out "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!" This quote is used in an American patriotic song and it is saying that if equality is accomplished, America can truly become a "sweet land of liberty", where freedom can truly ring.

Overall, it is evident that Martin Luther King has successfully delivered a speech to completely abolish racism and discrimination. I know this by the variety of techniques used in the speech in which he clearly conveys his emotions and struggles that challenged him and the black community. Even each raised intonation holds a powerful meaning as well as each technique used. This is why this speech is one of the most successful speeches ever.