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"I Have a Dream" Rhetorical Analysis Project

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Logan Marcum

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of "I Have a Dream" Rhetorical Analysis Project

Historical Context
Martin Luther King J.R was a black American born in the time in which America was segregated. As a pastor he demonstrated his views on segregation. Finally on August 28th, 1963, King made the big speech, which was his "I Have a Dream" speech.
Martin Luther King's speech was given to rally together all Negros to voice their thoughts of segregation.
Pathos- Which is emotional appeal, attempts to arouse the audience's feelings, often by using rhetorical devices that evoke an emotional response, one of Aristotle's three appeals.
This speech change America forever. This speech caused segregation to be forever abolished. This speech also helped to unify the the people of America. This also changed King's life as well. After the speech he was beaten and threatened until the day he died. Which was not long after when he was shot from long distance.
Image by Tom Mooring
Persuasive Techniques
"I Have a Dream" Rhetorical Analysis Project
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and whit men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro Spiritual
The example given is an example of Pathos, because of the emotional effect that it has on all Americans. It not only gets black men emotionally involved, but everybody who is an American.
The Purpose
This speech was given to wake up the American people and the government. It was given to show that the Negro people were tired of being mistreated and that they wanted their civil rights back. It was to also join together all black men and women to express this.
This speech was mainly directed for Negro men and Women but also for every American. This is for everybody because everybody has the right to be free under National Law.
The message that is given off in this speech is that King is tired of the segregation and that if every man women and child fights this segregation that things will change for the better. And he makes it clear that he needs everyones help in order for it to happen.
Rhetoric Devices
Quote: But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
Effect: This emphasizes the fact that after one hundred years things have not changed and that they need to and they know it needs to.
Quote: With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
Effect: This shows that the men and women can unite as one and conquer anything as one.
The example given is an example of ethos, because King changed the view of people by giving realistic examples of what was going on; the kinds of discrimination's the African-American people was suffering.
“We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways on to hotels of the cities… as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.”
Ethos- Ethical appeal; appeal s linked to the audience's perception of the trustworthiness and moral character of the speaker or writer, one of Aristotle's three appeals.
Logos- Logical appeal; The content of the argument such as facts, statistics, expert testimony, or anecdotes.
“In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check… This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”
He mentioned the reality of how things were and the capability of how things could be.
Quote: My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

Effect: This refers back to our country, which has so much pride in itself.
Quote: 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.

Effect: This is contrasting color from content and skin from character, which are very different.
Quote: This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

Effect: This shows the importance of the emancipation proclamation and the light it shines on everyone.
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