In the 1960s, Americans gradually realized that the movement of the slaves caused by the Civil War did not produce the pre-effect of making black Americans a fully equal citizen. In the late nineteenth century, the civil rights of black Americans were bound and restricted by the laws and practices of state and local discrimination against blacks. In daily life, African Americans are often isolated. For instance, they cannot attend school in a school with white people, take in the same public transport, and live in one place. Blacks cannot fully participate in American social life. Even after a hundred years, they are still deprived of their rights as slaves. The improvement of their standard of living is not entirely commensurate with the development of the country. Therefore, the equality of black Americans has become a serious social problem.
“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most memorable speeches of all time. His speech aimed at the entire nation of America. King’s main purpose in his speech is to revoke American citizens’ awareness of pursuing racial justice. King advocates American citizens to stand up together to achieve racial harmony and integration. In his speech, he argues passionately and powerfully by cleverly using series rhetorical devices.
Generally, there are two parts of the speech. At the former part, King portrays terrible situation of black people in America. They are treated with injustice and racial discrimination. Although one hundred years passed, the Negro finds himself in exile in his own land (par.2). How shameful the condition is! When it comes to the latter part, the speech maps out a blueprint of future society with justice and equality.
When we give an insight into the speech, King uses figurative language such as repetition and metaphors. Anaphora plays a crucial role. The repetition of the words at the beginning of the sentence emphasizes emotions to a large extent. “I have a dream” is repeated constantly, which is the key theme throughout the entire speech. Additionally, as the beginning of paragraph 2, “Five score years ago…”, King also refers to Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address speech. There are even numerous Biblical allusions embedded in the speech, providing a solid moral foundation for his arguments. Moreover, in paragraph 4, King resembles America’s obligation on racial justice as a bad check to point out the shameful condition in the nation.
As far as I am concerned, I really admire King’s talent. He advocates people to fight for their freedom wisely with dignity and discipline. He also focuses on brotherhood. White people and black people should stand together to create a harmony, caring and equal society. We should not change the attitudes and opinions of others because of their skin color, status, and family. Because people are equal in life, there is no distinction between high and low, even if you are born in a wealthy family, it does not mean that you are superior to others, because these wealthy are not your achievements. At the same time, the poor people should not be inferior to their own lives. Although your family is poor, you can work hard to change the status quo and pursue happiness.