King had suffered the racial injustice of America at that time and was tired of the segregation. “We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: ‘For Whites Only. ’” At this point in time, society was segregated to an extreme. Blacks and whites did not mix, the black people were forced to sit at the back of the bus while the white people had the privilege of the front. The two races could not drink from the same water fountains and attended segregated schools.
There had been attempts to make a change in the past such as Rosa Parks, however no one was able to leave the same lasting impression that King did and make such a change in society as we now know it. “One day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. ” King had a dream, a dream of racial equality. King was not fighting for only his own rights, he was also fighting for the future of his children, so that they would not endure the cruel police brutality of the times.
In the speech King states “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. ” This does not only show his dream for the future generations but also gives the speech personal identity by including his own children. Throughout the speech King uses a various amount of linguistic devices that help to give his speech the extra edge needed to keep his words in the minds of listeners for years to come. One of the main styles of public speaking King uses is repetition.
Throughout the speech he constant repeats certain words and catch phrases such as “I have a dream” or “Let freedom ring. ” These help to drill his words into the audience and create a lasting impression. This is a technique that is generally used in speeches, especially those dealing with politics. Obama, another man making a big change in society also uses this technique with his catch phrase “Yes we can,” the use of repetition allows the speaker to get their words through to every listener whether they realize it or not.
King also includes aspects of the American Culture in his speech. This not only draws the attention of the white Americans but also shows a connection between the blacks and the whites, they are all Americans and they all live on the same land. King says lines like “when architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence,” this line praises the American beliefs. King gives a strong point of connection between the blacks and whites and their belief in the Declaration of Independence.
He does not put down the American government despite the segregation and hardships but instead compliments them in his speech. The use of American Culture can also tie into King’s pacifism. King was against war and violence and in his speech he states “we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence,” this connects to why he never puts down the government. King shows that with kindness you get further than with violence as the changes that he made in the world are much more than a war would have done.
Another strong point of King’s speaking is his inclusivity of the audience. He rarely states his goals in the form of ‘I’ but instead using ‘we. ’ This technique draws the audience in and includes them in the mission King is presenting to them. “with this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up to freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. ” Note how King never refers to any of the actions in singular form. He says we will work together, stand up to freedom together.
King always includes the audience to keep their attention and make them feel a part of the speech and like he is speaking directly to them and asking them to join him so that together they can make a change. King also used many links to religion. By linking his speech to biblical references he was able to connect on a deeper level with the religious members of his audience. During this point in time many people were spiritual, including the black population who were very religious as it helped them through the hard times of segregation and the assault they were experiencing.
King used quotes such as “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together” referring to the thought that the Lord’s power will overrule cruelty and both blacks and whites will witness it together creating a world free from segregation. Another strong technique that King uses is alliteration. symbolic shadow we stand today, signed… ” the repetition of the sound ‘s’ creates a dramatic sentence emphasizing the words using this sound. It draws the audiences ear to these sentences and because of the similar sounds allows the phrase to be remembered easier.
This allows King to have powerful sentences within the speech which continue capturing the audience’s attention and allow for a more memorable speech. King often uses this technique as many parts of the speech include alliteration. Overall, King left a lasting impression on those who have listened to the speech. He does this by using the many different literary techniques to capture his audience at all times and leave them thinking about the points he put forward. King included various techniques to make his message strong and clear and leave a lasting impression.