Dr. King's "I Had a Dream"
The reason that I chose Dr. King's speech "I have a Dream" is because it is hands down one of the most powerful speeches in the history of North America and the World. The three main reasons I felt it was for the following 3 Reasons: He included touchstones that spoke to both the Brain and Soul, He used vivid and metaphorical language, and he ended it all off on a hopeful note.
He spoke to both Brain and soul starting off in his opening statement, Dr. King refers to the Gettysburg Address along with the Emancipation Proclamation, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. The references give his words weight and are recognized by the people; they ground his speech in historical text.
In the late parts of his speech, Dr. King focuses attention on the emotions of his audience quoting from the Bible, "My Country Tis of Thee," and a stirring Negro spiritual. It is the balance of the two elements, intellectual and emotional, the brain and the soul, that gives his speech the effect that it did have .
Many speeches are bland, and even topics that have a direct impact on our lives can come off as boring. It's easy to get confused about facts and statistics. But when you imply evocative and vivid language, you create a strong backbone, and it stimulates powerful images.
Dr. King doesn't simply confront gradualism, he warns the audience of the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. He portrays a powerful image of the plight of African-Americans, "living on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity." He speaks about his faith, with which "we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope." For example, Dr. King adds a metaphor about cashing cheques: "In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice".
Dr. King adds intense emotional states, from "flames of withering injustice" to those "battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality." But he ends by pumping his audiences souls with a hopeful ending message. He paints the image of the way things could be: "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."Another example of this is the emotio...