Sunday, 21 December 2014

Analysis: I Have A Dream By Martin Luther King


Martin Luther King’s magnificent speech, ‘I have a dream’, delivered on the 28th of august 1963 is a civil right proclamation speech aimed at ending the then ongoing racism in the United States.

The speech could be divided into six paragraphs, each depicting a message embed with brilliant; literary devices which tells the mood of the writer.

The first paragraph is a simple introduction in which He (King) makes it clear that he demonstrates for freedom. He stated how important the aim he wants to achieve is for everybody by emphasizing that “this will be the greatest demonstration for freedom” in the American history.

Continued with a reference to the emancipation proclamation which freed millions of slaves in 1963, King observed that the proclamation gave a “great beacon of light of hope to the black”. Unfortunately, 100 years later “the negro is still not free”. Here, he was able to portray, not an idealized American dream but a picture of a seething American night mare of racial injustice. He mentions the hope of the black people that was already years ago, but was yet to materialize.
 
“The negro” which he used in place of the black people was said to be languishing in the corners of the American society, finding exile in their own land. Emphasizing further, King said that: “The negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity”. In other words, there is vast distance between the lives of the blacks and white despite been equal citizens.
“Lonely island surrounded by a vast ocean” shows that the majority consist of the prosperous. That is, the white people have influence on the disadvantage of the blacks.

 
In the third paragraph, King refers to the declaration of independence and the fact that blacks are still discriminated and segregated. Talking about the inalienable right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness which was guaranteed by the constitution on attainment of independence, King observed that what was meant to be for everybody has not been realized this way. Instead, people are treated according to their color of skin. Thus, the blacks are neglected.

 
In paragraph four, he informs about what has to be done and what has to be avoided to make the change needed to happen. In his words: “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off…”

 
King called for civil rights activists not to overlook. The urgency of the moment. He emphasized that it is time to make justice a reality for God's children for there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the blacks are granted their rights.

Furthermore, He instills the determination in the hearts of his brethren with words of fellowship and encouragement. His goal is to instill brotherhood and a sense of urgency into everyone that the so day is the day. He announced that there will be no turning back and giving up until they reach the peak of the hill which ends the summer of discontent and brings on an autumn of tranquility.

The personification 'her', which means 'America' emphasized the personality king wants to achieve between the people and the ntion everybody belongs to.

In line 34 downwards, the repetition "go back" gives hope to the people since King mentions that they can go wherever they come from without being afraid of the future. By repeating it several time, he talks to everybody, those from Mississippi to Georgia and other states in the united states. By this, he addressed unity among all states in the quest to fulfill their mission.

Towards the end of the speech, King reveals his dream for America. "The american dream is a dream of everybody"; "It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream". From this text, the intense desire to achieve his aim was obvious. By repeating the word "I have a dream" several times, he enumerate, several plans to change. He wants to convey the impression that the measures he has planned will yield progress and equality.

King also mentions "the children", with regard to the future generations. With the word 'together', he makes it clear to the people that they are not alone and that they get or receive support from himself.

He also employs a song to his speech which says.."Let the freedom ring..." (Line 60-69) to show that everybody has to support his aim and plans to end discrimination.

In the last few lines, he mentions different groups of people again, the 'jews', 'gentiles', 'protestant', 'catholics' et-cetera, which emphasizes the equality of different cultural and religious groups as well as the equality between the blacks and whites

He makes use of the religious language which contains the aim for the future.

Finally, he enjoins everyone to sing with great hope and faith that freedom will come.

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