Martin Luther King, Jr. Who did won the Noble Peace Price in 1964 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. The speech “I have a dream” was made on August 28, 1963. He was a major political leader fighting for political rights for blacks in the USA. All Americans of Faith, creeds and races joined him and more other civil rights tried to persuade in this demonstration of solidarity. By making this speech, King tried to persuade the audience, the blacks to carry on their struggle by non- violent. The purpose of “I have a dream “is to expose the American public to the injustice of racial inequality and to persuade them to stop discrimination on the basis of race. King makes his speech a remarkable delivery and how the style of the speech addresses his intentions. King uses also rhetorical devices; biblical background .This speech was a public speech. In this speech we will analyse the speech more in detail.
By introduce this passage in the beginning of the speech; Luther feeling stressed about the importance of the moment. Luther makes the audience aware that they are witnessing a monumental moment in time. Luther also put his feelings in this speech, saying “happy to join with you today.” By express an emotion as using the word join. Linguistic devices including: parallelism in lines 5-7 “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from quicksand of racial injustice to the rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” King is once again able to create a common thread among his listeners by saying that we are “all God’s children”. King’s positive use of language creates a sense of importance: “Now is the time.” This quote also creates a sense of the here and now. The word “now” also creates a powerful emphasis, which refer to a repetition in (stanza 9). The writer also does not refer to years, but use words to makes the speech more urgent. King did not use passive word choices like “will” or “may”. His word was motivating, active and forceful. King also has an emotional appeal where he warned us from “tranquilizing drug of gradualism “ ( DE Laure and Duffy 265). The following device that King uses is allusion in lines 19-20 “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: a dream deeply truths to be self-evident, that all men created equal. He also uses repetition in lines 9-10 “I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest.” Also in lines 13-14 “Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Louisiana, and go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities.”
According to (Zhang, 2004) in King’s speech, many common or popular words, which are connected with the ordinary things or activities. Examples of this are: “promise, freedom and brotherhood. These words are quite familiar to the audience from different classes with different backgrounds, helping them easily understand King’s speech. These words can also create an atmosphere of friendliness and closeness. Pronouns use in King’s speech such as ‘I’, has been used six times and the word ‘we’ has been used three times
And also ‘you’ has been used five times. By using this words King brings himself closer to the audience, making them have more empathy with him.
In King’s speech we can hear his inspiring voice, by the rhythmic speech. Examples of this are “some of you have “in lines 9 and 10. King believes that his speech will influence the audience to rise up and be free. In the text we can see that King uses a lot of words that express the audience feelings like “It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream “. Luther is so convinced that his country will be free from apartheid if they stand together. King achieves his purpose of persuading and calling on the people to fight for equal rights for the blacks. King’s speech was a motivation for all of them in America to stand for them and believe that anything is possible, if you believe in yourself. Luther did have the courage to be brave and intelligent to stand-up for him and his people around him. The speaker is clearly very much interesting in the speech he did deliver for the black nation. The speaker did a good job in making use of different words for the audience. King did have a strong desire to change the condition for the blacks.
I believe that Martin Luther King Jr. had many aspects that contributed to the success of the speech. King hoped to make his dreams a reality but most of all through the new America. King did use skilful words which did add much interest and beauty to his speech. King helps to creates atmosphere to attract the audience to him. The different linguistic devices that were used in the speech did attract the audience. Luther believes that his emotions he did use in his speech were meaningful. King makes his speech a remarkable delivery and the style of the speech addresses his attention.
The tone of the speaker is very much determined, because of the repetition of the word “now”. The speaker’s goal is to just be free and have rights. The mood of the writer makes the readers feel liberated and empowered, it creates belief despites everything that happened.
This speech of Martin was successful by persuading the audience, which refer to the black communities to fight for equal rights. He did make use of the different linguistic devices. To make use of styles, repetitions, emotions and metaphors. To attract the audience attention to stand by his side.
- King, M. L., 1963. I have a dream. p. 7.
- Zheng, S., 2014. A Stylistic Analysis. Studies in Social Science, 9,number 1(2201-4624), pp. 123-134.