Does Martin Luther King Use Figurative Language In I Have A Dream

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Martin Luther King effectively encouraged the minority populations of America with his “I Have a Dream” speech by utilizing various techniques and language throughout many speeches and writings, especially this one. These techniques allow the listener and/or reader to establish a relation with the message, or main idea. In “I Have a Dream”, King favorably used figurative language to bring attention to the effects of the civil rights movement, which occurred in the later twentieth century. King successfully used allusions and metaphors to stress the prevalence of discrimination in the United States throughout his speech. Most important of all, King employed a sense of emotion throughout his speech, which could be heard even by just reading the…show more content…
King’s intent of delivering this speech was solely driven by the racial injustice that plagued the society of a nation where “all men are created equal”. The Civil Rights Movement, transpiring between the years 1954-1968, compromised of a multitude of social movements, similar to that of those during the 2nd Great Awakening in the 19th century. The Civil Rights Movement pressed forward reform on homosexuality, gender equality, and most prominently, racial equality. African Americans faced countless hardships ever since they arrived in America. For instance, the case involving the murder of Emmett Till because he allegedly cat-called a white woman. Or, when the Ku Klux Klan urged the Congress of Industrial Organizations to restrict admittance of African Americans into unions. More explicitly, they experienced discrimination, persecution in the workplace, racism, mistreatment, etc. Overall, they were treated as second class citizens. King wished to draw an end to the injustice by being a devout activist that could plant the seed of racial equality in the heads of Americans with his superior oration skills. King delivered a plethora of speeches, including, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” However, some may argue that MLK and others during the Civil Rights Movement were successful (Civil Rights Act of 1964), while others may claim that racial inequality,…show more content…
"'My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.'” This quote directly alludes to Samuel F. Smith’s famous hymn, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. When King addresses this hymn, he is speaking of the days to come when fighting for civil rights would seem like a silly idea. What is the difference between black and white? He is speaking of a day in which all the people of the United States will coexist and be able to sing this hymn together, in unity. King also alludes to a historical document; the Declaration of Independence. “This note was a promise that all men… would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” He was introducing the idea that the dominant white race of the United States was hypocritical for living by the creed “All men are created equal”, when in fact all citizens, in terms of color, were not treated accordingly. He also made it known that African Americans will not be pleased until they receive equality when he stated that ,“We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” By utilizing allusions in his “I Have a Dream” speech, King was able to attack the institution of

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