Critical Response Essay Final - I Have a Dream

Words: 1005
Pages: 5

‘I have a Dream’ – Critical Response Essay
How does ‘I have a Dream’ By Martin Luther King conform to, or deviate from, the conventions of a persuasive speech, and for what purpose?

I have chosen the question “How does the text conform to, or deviate from, the conventions of a particular genre, and for what purpose?” I have decided to analyse Martin Luther King’s classic Civil Rights Movement speech “I have a Dream” and how the structure of the speech creates a persuasive aspect for the audience. This task refers back to Part 1 of the English Language and Literature Course.
The essay will address these key points: 1. Repetition at
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In context, metaphors are used to highlight a contrasting concept and paint a clearer image for the audience. It allows the audience to relate speech concepts into concrete images, emotions, and experiences, creating personal appeal within each and every one of them. For example, to contrast segregation with racial justice, Martin Luther King evokes the contrasting metaphors of a “dark and desolate valley” (28) (of segregation) and “sunlit path” (29) (of racial justice) to suggest freedom from a dark miserable place to a path of a better future. The audience would also associate imagery with the heat for standing out doors with “the heat of injustice” (78) and “the heat of oppression” (78), for they are soon to be taken into “an oasis of freedom and justice.” (78) in their minds. King carefully planted vivid imagery cues to keep the attention of the audience, alive.
Not only does a good speech lead to a persuasive presentation, but the speaker must put in some effort as well. In this speech, Martin Luther King incorporated frequent pauses and beats while presenting his arguments. This gave the audience time to process the information and understand it better, while also giving the speaker time to think about the following argument. Another technique King used was the build-up on tone, speed, and sentence variations. As the speech progressed, the tone of voice he used got progressively louder and faster. With more pauses and shorter sentences, he strung the