Nonfiction Analysis Essay History is a feature that categorically inspires the future, and it functioned as the foundation for Martin Luther King‟s “I Have a Dream Speech.” The Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln decreed an end to slavery and opened a new door for Negroes, keeping them motivated as well. However, the closing stages of slavery did not necessarily indicate the commencement of equality. This reality directed King into a collection of frustration as well as self-assurance to ensure that equality for all would prevail in this discrepancy of race. The dominant words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, informing each and every person that all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, provide support for King‟s philosophy of impartiality and equal opportunity for all men. In all, Martin Luther King‟s “I Have a Dream” speech was, and still is, a candid symbol of the spirit and striving of one person that showed the way for desegregation and incentive to make every effort for equality, the best for all, for the country and its citizens. Influential, powerful, and bold can be forthrightly used to describe the pivotal “I Have a Dream” speech of Martin Luther King, whose brisk and decisive words were intended to prompt equality for all men. King points out the promising documents of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence that established an end to slavery and assured essential rights for all people. Nevertheless, the country had still failed to fulfill their promises of civil rights, and King informs America of the necessity of racial righteousness. While in the progression of acquiring an unbiased position, King fervently insists that there is no need for physical violence or bitterness, and the struggle for freedom and equality should take place on a dignified level. Supporters of civil rights will not be satisfied until the Negroes are no longer targets for cruelty and violence. King repeatedly states in different expressions that he has a dream that the nation will someday meet its faith and carry out the value and definition of its principle, and immediately after quotes from the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” (236). With hope in hand, King wants to “let freedom ring” throughout the nation. He ends his speech with the aspiration that, one day, men of all religions and beliefs will be capable of joining together in friendship and freedom. In conclusion, the effectiveness of King‟s judgment and wisdom truly directed his speech in dealing with civil rights and equality for all men. In Martin Luther King‟s “I Have a Dream” speech, King uses an assortment of symbolism, repetition, and imagery. For example, when he is relaying the message that America could be described as a bank, King states, “…America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked „insufficient funds.‟ But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt” (235). King symbolizes a bad check for the mistreatment of the Negroes in these statements to make more compelling the fact that racial discrimination is taking place in America. He is also trying to convey that the Negroes will not put up with these unjust actions directed towards them, and in order to exchange the “check” for liberty and fairness, they will demand it. A further example is when King repeats himself with the phrase, “I have a dream,” and he specifically states, “I have a dream that one day this nation will live up to its creed: „We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.‟ I have a dream that…the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that…a state sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin.... I have a dream that…little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream that…the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh see it together” (236-237). This strong recurrence of the phrase, “I have a dream,” thoroughly makes it understood because of the fact that it appears numerous times throughout the speech, and King is essentially trying to put across that he has hope, because without it, he can‟t have a dream. King has faith in America and trusts that the nation can prevail over its problems with discrimination and segregation. The last example is when King uses imagery when he says, “But there is something that I must say to people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred” (235). The warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice and the cup of bitterness and hatred are images that the reader can visualize, and King intends for these images to express the fact that the point of beginning to righteousness should not lead to physical aggression. King additionally brings about an understanding of the significance of and yearning for justice, along with the most unproblematic way of acquiring it, and the reader can picture the threshold on which the Negroes are standing, awaiting equality. In all, King‟s word choice within his speech assists in getting his point across, and allows the reader to envision, contemplate, and make their own judgments about his outlook. In King‟s persuasive speech, he uses a combination of the ethical and emotional methods to convince the reader to look at things from his point of view. Ethical could be described as being in accordance with right and wrong. King continually emphasizes and proves to the reader that segregation and racial discrimination is wrong. However, his faith in America and its people leads him to convey that the nation can triumph over its faults and prompt justice and equality for all races, which is right. By expressing his emotions on the subject of prejudice, King persuades the reader to the point that they begin to feel a great deal of sympathy for King himself, as well as the rest of the Negroes who were considered unequal to, or lower, than other Americans. His speech truly draws on the reader‟s emotions and causes them to have pity on those who were judged only by their skin color, and whose characters were underestimated. All in all, Martin Luther King‟s “I have a dream” speech was exceptionally triumphant in swaying the minds of a profuse amount of people from cynical to perceptive on the subject matter of equal opportunity and overall morality.
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