The two most influential civil rights activists in American history were Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. They supported equal rights for every race, but when comparing MLK’s “I Have a Dream’ and Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet,” one sees the similarities in their rhetorical styles and differences in their tone and message. As seen in “I Have a Dream,” MLK has a more civilized and peaceful solution to the nation’s problems; whereas in X’s he has a will to do whatever it may take to solve the problems.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X use the same rhetorical strategies to enhance their message in their speeches. One device or strategy is repetition. In King’s speech he repeated the phrase “I have a …show more content…
His message was to thwart racism with as much nobility as possible, so that when viewed upon you’d be the light in the darkest of rooms. He wanted people to not give up on their dreams and not lose their self control of humanity even though they were trying to abolish such wrongdoing that was very inhumane. On the other hand, Malcolm X couldn’t have had a more contrasting message and tone in his “the Ballot or the Bullet” speech. He chose words like hell, suffered, degrading, treachery and false promises to instill the vengeance in the minds of his audience and for them to commend the will to fight for freedom. He wanted to create total chaos and outrage in the souls and mind of his listeners to ensure the quickest way possible for them to hear the core of his motives. He had no intentions in believing that racism would subside or that any of the white men would see the error in their ways and beg for their forgiveness and to live in complete harmony. He thought that the only way for the black community to really get what they deserve is to use the bullet and fight. King had a solution to end the nationwide problem with a more passive and civilized solution, the brought out the goodness in humanity because “an eye for an eye will make the world blind”; whereas X wanted the use of forces on the enemy no matter how much damaged caused in order for them to give equal rights to all.