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A Time to Break Silence

Reading Project
by

Lilian Bemporad

on 2 December 2012

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Transcript of A Time to Break Silence

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli A Time to Break Silence A Time to Break Silence
by Martin Luther King, Jr. In A Time to Break Silence, Martin Luther King, Jr. describes how Americans are on the wrong side of a revolution, and how soldiers in Vietnam are putting Vietnamese families in concentration camps. He states that we should treat our Vietnamese brothers and sisters as equals, and try to create peace between the two nations. First Person and Personification Throughout his speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. refers to himself as "I." He is using the first person point of view.
In the second paragraph of the speech, King says "...my conscience leaves me no other choice." This personifies his conscience because "leaves" is a verb, and only living beings can act. Mood, and Tone Symbolism and Metaphor "...burnings of my own heart..." is an example of symbolism, by using heart, King suggests feelings, and by using burnings, he suggest sadness. Therefor, this quote actually means: feeling sad.
Close to where King uses my example of symbolism, he says"...to break the betrayal..." This is a good example of a metaphor because he doesn't mean to break something, he means to interrupt something. Imagery and Theme The imagery in this article is seen in paragraph two, when King quotes the executive committee. "A time comes when silence is betrayal." This creates an image in the reader's mind of a person (or persons) watching evil being done and saying nothing.
The theme of this article is war and death. King explains the dark side of the war in Hanoi and Vietnam, by saying that America is bombing innocent people. This speech opened many Americans' eyes to cruel acts of American soldiers. This persuaded some people to take part in the Peace Movement. The mood I go into is one of great sadness as I realize the dark truth of his words.
Throughout his speech, King is in a serious tone, that, of course is expected in a speech, but this one more so, as he is talking of war and sadness. Denotation and Setting "...five concrete things..." represents denotation,as it gets straight to the point.
In "A Time to break Silence" King mentions years such as 1957, and other years in the 1950's. One can infer from this that the setting is past 1957, most likely in the 1960's. How did the speech impact the time period in which it was originally spoken? How was the speech used to influence, manipulate, or empower people? A Time to Break Silence was used to persuade and influence people to protest against the Vietnamese war. He also persuaded some that Vietnamese families are people too. He uses guilt of hurting a fellow human to influence people to halt the cruel actions that he revealed. Has the message of the speech changed? Is it still valid? The message of this speech hasn't changed, and it is still valid today since America is still involved in foreign wars, and is still harming innocent people. THE END In all instances the message of A Time to Break Silence rings true. War isn't noble, and we should always examine why we are involved in war. America isn't perfect, whether we like it or not. by Lilian Bemporad
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