Purpose Of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech (2023)

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On August 28, 1963, at the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech entitled "I Have a Dream". The purpose of Martin Luther King 's speech was to make Americans of all racial backgrounds aware of the racial, civil, and economic inequality that was taking place in the United States. Martin Luther King 's speech was intended to bring awareness of the problem of inequality and to give Americans hope and faith that one day everyone, black and white, would be equal. King states in his speech that when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it gave hope to millions that had experienced injustice and inequality, and his expectation was to bring hope to Americans by delivering this speech just as Lincoln…show more content…
Martin Luther King 's uses various literary devices such as metaphors, personification, similes, and imagery in his speech so that his audience would be able to better understand and visual what he is saying. An example of a metaphor in King 's speech is when he compares the deprivation of African American rights with "a bad check that has come back from the bank of injustice marked with insufficient funds". He states that we must cash a check that will give us the riches of freedom and security of justice. This metaphor is referring to the freedom and rights that African American 's deserve and are promised but are not given. An example of personification in his speech is "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. Here in this quote, he personifies the abstract qualities of freedom, bitterness, and hatred and uses them to represent something we "drink" of "thirst for". King uses this metaphor to teach us that we should not be bitter and have hatred if we want to ultimately achieve freedom. An example of the use of a simile is in the line "justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream". In this simile, he compares the idea of us all having justice to water in a stream. Lastly, King uses imagery in his speech. He words his sentences with visual details and with providing these detailed sentences, he creates visual symbolism to appeal to us. He creates a visual representation and mental images…show more content…
Martin Luther King 's speech is still relevant today because all races are not yet equal. Although racism and segregation have somewhat "improved" from 1963 until now we can still see clear signs today that racism and inequality still exists. The idea of change and equality that Martin Luther King and other activists fought for was just the beginning of a revolution that has not yet ended. King expresses in his speech, that in order for us to achieve true freedom we need to be able to work together, pray together, and stand up for freedom together knowing that one day we will all be free. King states that we should not be comfortable with the idea of gradualism, where we gradually achieve a change, but we should make a change now. Being on this sinful earth, nothing is ever going to be perfect, but we should still fight for what we think is right. Even if we don 't achieve our goal of equality down here on earth, we should all have faith that one day when Jesus returns, we will all be equal and live in perfect harmony in His


  • Martin Luther King's Speech Summary

    261 Words |2 Pages

    In Martin Luther King’s famous speech, King argued for freedom of African Americans by using metaphors to illustrate the serious effects and tolerance of discrimination in society. To motivate the public to take action, King created a scenario on how the Africans were treated amongst their white peers. “ the negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity” Moreover, King used a metaphor to highlight the ignorance of African Americans by representing their isolation as an “island of poverty”. In addition, he represented the white people’s capability of wealth in the perspective of an African American as being “in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity”. In other words, the effects of

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  • Martin Luther King Jr Use Rhetorical Devices In I Have A Dream

    231 Words |1 Pages

    In “I Have A Dream”, Martin Luther King Jr. persuades people to treat black with the equal rights as whites have. Not to make blacks superior, but to their be peace among blacks and whites.

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  • Rhetorical Analysis Of Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream

    217 Words |1 Pages

    In his 1963 speech, “I Have A Dream”, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asserts that now is the time to conquer racial inequality and it can be done neither alone nor through hate.

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  • Rhetorical Analysis Of I Have A Dream Speech

    914 Words |4 Pages

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was an extremely impactful activist during the Civil Rights Movement that gave over 2,500 speeches in his lifetime. Of these speeches, his most popular is his famous I Have a Dream speech that he gave on August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C. during the March on Washington. Even famous speakers like Martin Luther King, Jr. use persuasive techniques to appeal to the different sides of their audiences. In order to appeal to his predominately African American audience, Martin Luther King, Jr. makes reference to Abraham Lincoln and his granting freedom to slaves by signing the Emancipation Proclamation. King also discusses his personal life, along with his family and children, to show the crowd that he is fighting for the same things as them. In his I Have a Dream speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. used ethos to increase his credibility with his audience, pathos to appeal to his audience’s emotional side, and logos to appeal to his audience’s logical side.

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  • Why Is Martin Luther King I Have A Dream Speech Effective

    1016 Words |5 Pages

    in which King was calling for the end to racism in the United States. The speech was delivered to an estimated number from 200,000 to 300,000 civil rights supporters at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. The March on Washington was for equals opportunities in Jobs and Freedom for black Americans. The speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. Beginning with a reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed millions of slaves in 1863, King observes that: "one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free"(Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech). King described his dreams of freedom and equality arising from a land of slavery and hatred. King was able to. join Jefferson and Lincoln ranks of men who've shaped modern America with a single phrase. 50 years after the March on Washington we recognized that King was able to reshape the economic landscape for Black Americans. For the five decades since march organizers lifted up their twin goals of "jobs and freedom". The end of Jim Crow and legal segregation opened pathways to public to corporate jobs with many companies and governments embracing racial diversity. Millions of blacks surged out of poverty, with many achieving the middle class or even affluence. King was able to achieve these goals by promoting and marching peacefully. Inspiring a huge amount of people with empowering words. King used his strategy of nonviolent Civil Disobedience in gaining these

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  • Rhetorical Analysis Of Martin Luther King's Speech

    1848 Words |8 Pages

    Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential leaders of his time and played a crucial role in the African-American Civil Rights movement. Luther was a charismatic leader who took a firm stand against the oppressive and racist regime of the United States (US), devoting much of his life towards uniting the segregated African-American community of the US. His efforts to consolidate and harmonise the US into one country for all is reflected in many of his writings and speeches spanning his career. As a leader of his people, King took the stand to take radical measures to overcome the false promises of the sovereign government that had been addressing the issues of racial segregation through unimplemented transparent laws that did nothing to change the grim realities of the society. Hence, King’s works always had the recurring theme of the unity and strength of combined willpower. In a similar light, King addressed the speech ‘I have a dream’ to a peaceful mass gathering in Washington asking for change. The speech deemed racial segregation to be an inhumane practice that subdivides society into groups that essentially alienate them from the true sense of humanity; which is brotherhood. King argues that all people are created equal and directly challenged the outdated and abhorrent views that upheld the false flag of racial superiority among White Americans. Luther’s speech was a passionate rhetoric that preached his views about the future. Furthermore his speech did not

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  • I Have A Dream Speech Rhetorical Essay

    804 Words |4 Pages

    On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr gave us one of one of the most rhetorically moving speeches ever given. Titled as the “I Have a Dream Speech,” he read this speech to the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”. As a civil right mover he gave this great speech to all Americans (black and white) so that he could give off the idea of equality on the same level. Because of his crowd of mix races King made sure to make his speech imploring to all no matter what the race that they may be. He uses metaphorical imagery, powerful diction,and symbolism to create an impact on the audience. King’s dialect showed the audience civil right issues, involving many rhetorical strategies using ethos, logos, and pathos, to a racially tempered crowd whom he viewed as different, but not equal.

  • I Have A Dream Ethos Pathos Logos

    527 Words |3 Pages

    Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, a well-known civil rights leader, took many actions and went through many dangerous procedures to get his views on segregation and equality amongst all people across when presenting his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. Numerous facts were stated to help in proving his beliefs to be true. These facts sat well with his already exquisite credibility earned from being such a well-mannered, genuine, and respected man. As factual as the speech was, Dr. King did not fail to speak with incredible passion in his voice and emotions so strong, connecting with them was inevitable. These components were essential to making Dr. Kings’ main message crystal clear; it was time for the government to make a drastic change in society’s effort towards putting an end to racial discrimination. Although both ethos and logos were evident in his speech, it is clear that the rhetorical appeal, pathos, was displayed most effectively.

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  • Pros And Cons Of I Have A Dream Speech

    970 Words |4 Pages

    He wrote “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and wrote his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. In both of these, he used pathos and logos to appeal to the audience and fit the occasion, so that he can make the people do something about segregation and defend his ideas in an effective way. If he would not have spoken up and had influenced people to follow him, the world could have ended up still having segregation today. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the biggest visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used pathos and logos in his speech to draw in people so he can make them act and he used pathos and ethos in his letter to defend his ideas using his knowledge of the audience and the occasion.

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  • Compare And Contrast I Have A Dream And Martin Luther King Jr.

    719 Words |3 Pages

    Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have a Dream” is vastly recognized as one of the best speeches ever given. His passionate demand for racial justice and an integrated society became popular throughout the Black community. His words proved to give the nation a new vocabulary to express what was happening to them. Martin was famously a pacifist, so in his speech, he advocated peaceful protesting and passively fighting against racial segregation.

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  • The Use Of Emotion In Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have A Dream Speech

    529 Words |3 Pages

    In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, he does not just use logic, he also uses emotion. When King was giving his speech, not a lot of people were there to hear him in person. King’s speech was not extremely famous when he first gave it; it was not until later that it became known. If he were to just use one, logic or emotion, people would listen but not continue supporting him for long. When using logic and emotion people, will hear him out and understand he means what he says and that he has examples to back up what he includes in his speech. In addition to logic and emotion, he has imagery and repetition in his speech.

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  • Argumentative Essay On I Have A Dream Speech

    945 Words |4 Pages

    Two score and 13 years ago people with colored skin were being segregated for everyday activities like drinking from a water fountain and going to school. Martin Luther King and many others were tired of not getting the treatment they were promised as a whole, so Martin Luther King wrote his famous “I have a Dream” speech, to address the problem that was sweeping the nation. He wanted to persuade the nation to treat Black people with equality and respect. The black population was not going to rest until they received their rights that they were promised when Abraham Lincoln said the “Emancipation Proclamation” . King has a dream and has faith that one day everyone will be equal, everyone will have rights, and that there will be everlasting

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  • Essay On I Have A Dream Speech

    891 Words |4 Pages

    Rhetorical devices he used were flashbacks and figurative language. For example he says “... America has given the Negro people a bad check…” (King). He used personification to compare how African Americans are being treated to a Bad check, which made his speech more impactful. Another example is when MLK says “From every mountainside, let freedom ring.” (King). He uses personification to get his point across which is that he wants freedom to be seen and given to all people of all color in all places. He also says “Five score years ago…” (King). He uses flashback to state to his audience that everyone should have been free many years ago (100 years ago) but they are still--denied their rights. This supports the central idea because it stated that everyone should’ve been

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  • Martin Luther King I Have A Dream Speech Thesis

    642 Words |3 Pages

    Although, King's speech which took place on August 28th, 1963, motivated many to stand up for who they are and fight for their rights as people living in America. Dr. King's words were eye openers to many because it gave them the realization of how cruel this discrimination was. His demonstration affirmed the nation that everyone does not need to tolerate the dreadful wave of racial injustice.The final result was a peaceful demonstration of how change positive change is frequent in American history. This I Have a Dream speech will always be recognized due to the power it had on the nation as a whole and its immortal notion of the horrors of racism. King's dream did eventually come true..."where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers." (King) Therefore, it is obvious that Martin Luther King’s speech was extremely touching and inspirational to not just the people witnessing it on that August evening but to anyone who simply read his

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  • Letter From Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis

    1341 Words |6 Pages

    Martin Luther King was a very powerful speech writer, as well as great at getting the point across through paper. In two of his most famous works of art, “I Have a Dream” and “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” he uses many different types of writing tools. Some of these writing tools include, analogies, rhetorical questions, and repetition. Some tools are only used in one or the other because it either wouldn’t make sense, or it would bring down the strength of the words within the work. The use of analogies is very common in his work.

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