Sept. 29

September 30, 2008 pottersp

“I Have A Dream,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I Have a Dream” speech is full of rhetoric. He is specifically talking to the black audience, which is understood. The writer is trying to explain to the people that one day; African Americans will be free and treated fairly. He explains how the Emancipation Proclamation was signed but the Negro is still not free. He grabs his audience by speaking passionately. He uses forensic rhetoric because he is saying this (prejudice and discrimination), is bad because every man is created equal and should have equal rights.

            However, I think it is mostly deliberative rhetoric because he speaks on what the future holds and what should happen. He states that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written so that all men, even black men, would have the same rights of “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.” And instead of Americans honoring that note, that obligation, they have continued to give the Negro people a “bad check, a check that has come back marked insufficient funds.” He says that now is the time to stand up and speak out for what’s right. He says that the Negro people will not stop until they are granted their rights. However, he says that while we fight for these rights, we should not be bitter or develop hatred. We must keep our dignity and discipline and turn our physical force into soul force.

            The writer can connect with the audience because he himself is an African American and is dealing with the same discrimination. He constantly says that we can’t walk alone but we have to stick together. There he is proving his reliability; he is able to convince his audience because she touches the emotional side. While he is saying that we need to stand up and fight for our rights, he is still saying that we shouldn’t distrust all white people, for many white people have come to realize that our destinies are the same and our freedoms should rightfully be the same. This shows that he has discipline and not only respect for himself and for his Negro people, but also whites, despite the prejudices and discriminations that they may show. He doesn’t speak as if he is higher than the Negro people, but he speaks as if he is on the same level and is speaking up for Negros as a whole.

            He constantly uses the word “we”, showing that this is something that needs to be accomplished together. This shows the bonds and brotherhood and touches the emotional side of the audience. He is saying that we are not in this alone and that if we speak up then we can make a difference. He proves that he and the Negro people will never give up. He says we will never be satisfied as long as the Negro people are the victims of police brutality, or as long as our fatigued bodies cannot stay at hotels or motels, or as long as they move us from a small ghetto to a slightly larger ghetto, or as long as our children are stripped of their dignity by seeing “Whites only” signs; and how we will not be satisfied until we are able to vote. This touches the Negro peoples’ emotional side because they can relate to these things and they want them to come to an end.

            He shares what his dream is, which ties into millions of the Negros dreams. They all have the same dream and are living and fighting for what they deserve. Not alone, but united, as one.


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