An Essay On The Speech Of Martin Luther King, "I Have A Dream" And "The Ballot Or The Bullet" By Malcolm X. The Differences And Similiraties Of These Two Speeches

1734 words - 7 pages

Martin L. King and Malcolm XMartin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were raised in different environments. King grew up in a safe middle-class family, while Malcolm X came from a poor home. Despite the different upbringings, they were both black and had a dream, but unfortunately never lived to see it become true. However, both men had become high images in the current African-American culture and had indeed a great influence on Afro-Americans in 1960's. One was a great peaceful man who spoke to all humanity, marched peacefully around, and wanted the blacks to achieve full equality with whites. His popular speech goes like this: "I have a dream, a dream that one day this nation will rise up ...view middle of the document...

In his speech, he said that the Blacks had to gain their rightful places but not by wrongful deeds - "not by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred" (p. 20, l. 65). He wanted to fight on the plane of dignity and discipline. However, regardless of the problems and frustrations he and the black population had been through during the segregation and fighting against segregation, he says that he still has a dream. "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."…" I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character." (p. 20+21 line. 20-30) He says with this faith, he will return to the South, and with this faith the blacks will stand up for freedom together - by knowing that one day they will be free and equal as the whites. He says let freedom ring from everywhere in USA. By achieving the freedom, one day everyone will join hands and say "Free at last" "Free at last!" "Thank God almighty."The speech is structured on high rhetorical level also high level of language; hence, the words that are used in the speech are words, which are not any "everyday" word. The reason Martin Luther King has chosen difficult words might be that he wanted to show the world that a black man could also be capable of using big words and be as good as a white. There has also been much imagery (metaphors) such as; "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst… by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred." (P. 20, line. 63) meaning that lets not choose the way of violence and meanness, and there is another example "…America has given the Negro people a bad check…" (P. 20, line. 37) meaning that the promise which America gave the blacks was not good enough, now they have to "re-cash the check" i.e. do something about it. Apart from that, there are also many repetitions of some words, which make the speech more of a rhythmical speech e.g. (I have a dream, Now is the time, or let freedom ring..), one of the reasons for this could be that Martin Luther King is a minister, and ministers do rhyme their words, when they deliver a speech etc. He talks to people's Ethos (Credibility), hence he has good argumentations and worth to listen to, he also uses Pathos (Emotional) - because he brings some metaphorical phrases where he appeals with the audience's feelings. At last Logos (Logical), thus, he gives examples of hundred years back, when the blacks were promised freedom and equality, yet there has not been any sign of it.The other text we are dealing with is the speech by Malcolm X, entitled "The Ballot or the Bullet". Malcolm X was born in 1925. Later in his youth, he joined a Negro separatist movement called Nation of Islam, and converted to Islam where he became the spokesperson. In this speech,...


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