Eddie strong opening statement Dr. King sounds

Eddie Mehmetaj

Professor Jim Roberts

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English 106

11 October 2017

Dr.
King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

In
1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historical speech when the civil
rights movements was at its peak. Throughout this memorable moment King used
many different rhetorical devices to get his point across and engage with the
crowd to establish a connection. Some of these techniques include the use of
ethos, pathos, imagery, metaphors, anaphora’s and many more. These devices are
used to show that all men are not created equal and that the government has
breached the social contract.

Dr.
King’s first line in his speech demonstrates the first rhetorical device used
with ethos. He starts off by saying “I am happy to join you today in what will
go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of
our nation” (King, paragraph 1). Immediately Dr. King establishes a common
ground with his audience which further strengthens his credibility as a
speaker. With such a strong opening statement Dr. King sounds very confident in
what he is about to say as if he is speaking it into existence. This only helps
him even more with his credibility when saying that his speech will go down in
history, which is quite interesting because 54 years later everyone has heard
of his speech as a great remark against segregation. King’s opening sentence paved
a solid foundation for the rest of his speech as well as the rest of the
rhetorical devices that are yet to come.

All
throughout the “I Have a Dream” speech strong examples of imagery were used
that clearly painted a picture in the audience’s minds. The reasoning behind
his vividly detailed sentences are for the reader to grasp a better
understanding of segregation and how it greatly affected the African-American
people. For example Dr. King stated in paragraph 3 that “… the Negro lives on a
lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity”.
In this quote he describes how isolated the black people are in such a rich
country like America, “The land of opportunity”. Dr. King’s imagery paints a
clear picture describing exactly how separated the two racial groups are and
how the African-American is an exile in his own land. Strong comparisons are
made in his speech to further elaborate on his side of segregation.

Metaphors
and similes are scattered everywhere in King’s speech, all being used to
establish a stronger connection with his listeners. Dr. King uses meaningful
comparisons to depict the injustice of segregation in the nation. King states
“The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation
until the bright day of injustice emerges” (Dr. King, paragraph 7). Here he
relates the actions that need to be taken as whirlwinds shaking up the bedrock
of the unjust society. The time will come where segregation is put to an end
and the “bright day” will emerge for the nation. These metaphors are a solid
way of supporting his argument to end the separation of whites and blacks and
for everyone to be considered as equal individuals. All the literary devices
help to put the audience in his shoes to look at the situation from his
perspective in order to achieve a better understanding. Dr. King is constantly
trying to let the people know how unfair the lives of African-American men are
by repeating his ideas making sure that it gets through to them.

In
order to make sure what Dr. King is saying is being heard and acknowledged, he
uses a strong and effective literary device called anaphora. He repeats his
ideas and thoughts over and over again in multiple paragraphs to get his point
across. The title of his speech is” I Have a Dream” and he used that line in
many different occasions stating “I have a dream that…” (King, paragraphs
17-24). This use of repetition also ties into the use of pathos, bringing in
high hopes and many strong feelings that one day every man will be considered
equal no matter their ethnicity. When saying I have a dream, King refers to the
American Dream as he shows strong emotions and the optimism that one day a
black man will be able to live out this dream and have his own family to look
out for. The flair of emotions being triggered at this point in the speech
allows everyone to get a feel for the type of lives these people are living and
it brings everyone to the same page so that there are not any mixed thoughts
and ideas floating around towards the topic of segregation.

The
larger relevance of Dr. King’s speech was to reach out to all people and get
everyone to understand how different African-Americans lives are because of
segregation. The black people in society are so isolated and inferior in
compare to the whites that it goes against the controversial line in the
Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. The point of Dr.
King’s speech was to try and get his audience in the shoes of a black person
going through the discrimination of others and how harsh their lives are
because of it. King’s “Dream” is realized to its fullest extent to this day as
segregation is no longer active, King got his point across to the people of the
nation and it was worth taking a stand for as it changed in his favor in the
long run. Dr. King’s speech is constantly referred to when talking about the
topics of segregation, racism, and discrimination against colored people. Today
his speech is talked about a lot with our new president Donald Trump being in
office and the concern with what might possibly happen since he was raised by a
big time segregator in his father. King’s “dream” will always have an effect on
the nation and his speech will forever be remembered and praised as the
greatest demonstration for freedom in history.