Analysis Of Abraham Lincoln 's ' I Have A Dream ' Essay

Analysis Of Abraham Lincoln 's ' I Have A Dream ' Essay

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In his speech, “I Have a Dream,” delivered on August 28, 1963 at Abraham Lincoln’s memorial in Washington, D.C., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. explores the rights that African American’s are granted by the U.S. Constitution. King believes that those rights are not equal to the rights that white men and women have. King describes a world that is different than the world where he lives. A world that he desires his family to grow up in and the vision that he sees America becoming. Though all Americans were ostensibly granted unalienable rights, King uses rich figurative language to argue that African Americans are still waiting to enjoy the same privileges afforded to others.

Dr. King sets the stage of his speech with, “Five score years ago” (King, 1968, p. 1), which ties his speech with Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” The parallelism with the Gettysburg Address could potentially be harmful as Abraham Lincoln was not successful in giving African Americans the freedom that he set out to grant them. In another speech by Abraham Lincoln, the “Emancipation Proclamation,” Lincoln declared that all African Americans were no longer slaves. Contrary to this statement, most of the slaves in the South were not given freedom, as the “Emancipation Proclamation” was limited. The “Emancipation Proclamation” promised a freedom that could not be granted unless the Union military was victorious in the Civil War. The “Emancipation Proclamation” was successful at capturing the hearts of Americans and transforming the war to one being fought for freedom (“The Emancipation Proclamation,” n.d.). The Proclamation announced that African American men would be gratefully accepted into the Union’s military, making the liberated the liberators (“The Eman...


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... creative suffering” (King, 1963, p. 3) African Americans won this battle for their equality as humans through perseverance and peace.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has a way with words that should not be summarized in a way that simplifies the images and ideas that come from his beautiful mind. King encouraged people to stand up and fight with him for peace, but also encouraged people to do the right thing. He acknowledged all the rights and freedoms that African Americans were promised, but then denied, and pushed for a way to peacefully obtain those rights. The pictures that he builds with his analogies, metaphors, imagery, comparisons and surplus of numerous other figurative languages is crisp, clear, and straight to the point. King set out to influence American citizens to become better people so that all people could receive the rights that they were promised.

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