Atlantic Analysis Essay Contest

Submitted By belindakle
Words: 1049
Pages: 5

Atlantic Analysis Essay Rough Draft
Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech
Belinda Le

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech that turned into one of the most memorable ever given in the United States history. Fighting for his own rights and freedoms, he represented the dream of millions who were too terrified to stand up for themselves. He was the voice of liberty, the voice of unity. In his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, King passionately argues about how our great nation has wrongfully taken our God given rights and privileges away him and his race. Racism and segregation were huge issues in America during the mid-20th century. Blacks were treated as inferior, commonly viewed as properties instead of people and they were often victimized, abused, and killed. This needed to change. And this was the main purpose for King's speech. It was the catalyst for the result of the free and equal country that we are so fortunately blessed with today. Illustrating the severity of this social issue, King strived to provoke sympathy and guilt among his audience while also providing hope for his people through juxtaposition and loaded diction. He also endeavored to take charge of this tragic situation and call for a change through metaphors, illustrations, and repetition. Shaming the nation for their transgressions against their fellow Americans, Martin Luther King Jr. juxtaposes how life was and how it should have been. Beginning his speech with regards to the nation's past, he references the Emancipation Proclamation, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. He explains how all of these provide hope for equality throughout our great country. He sheds light to how society was suppose to be based off these important documents that greatly influenced and shaped America. However he then makes the striking distinction of how society was really lived, and how after "one hundred years" he was still not free, not equal, not liberated. This explicit contrast arouses guilt for the mistreatment of blacks despite the existing government documents that should have protected their rights. Another juxtaposition shown is the white's cruel violence compared to the black's peaceful protests. Although he was clearly beaten brutally as a slave physically and emotionally, Martin Luther continuously promoted peace among activists. He declared "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred." He did not approve of deeds that were morally wrong, even though morals were not a concern to the whites who had abused him. This shows his admirable character and evokes guilt for executing so many wrongs against such a just man. Additionally, Martin Luther King Jr. eloquently uses loaded diction throughout his speech to emotionally charge and appeal those who are listening to him. Proclaiming that African Americans are "crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination," King portrays the harsh circumstances that he was bound in. The use of the words "manacles" and "chains" provides an image of constraints and misery. He also states that millions have been "seared in the flames of withering injustice." This evokes sympathy and sorrow from everyone, giving a taste of the agony and burns they go through daily. Stating this causes senses to heighten, almost seeing and feeling the lick of the blaze that burns within. It creates an atmosphere of chaos, destruction, and pain that no one wants to imagine. Ready for a difference to come about, Martin Luther King Jr. created multiple metaphors to portray his intention. For the Constitution and Declaration of Independence that this country was built upon states the inalienable rights for all men. This seems as an empty promise given due to the fact that these rights were not handed to King and his people. In order to portray