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Analysis Of Persuasive Speech By Martin Luther King Jr

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Way back when society was fully accepted by everyone of color and hundreds and thousands were facing discrimination on a daily, American activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr, saw this injustice and felt the need to change our influence in American society. While having a lot of accomplishments, his most known and famous one was the “I Had A Dream” speech made in the early 1960s. His purpose for the speech was to give “an end to racism in the United States and called for Civil and economic rights.” Throughout his speech, he uses different methods to convey the audience by using tone, structure and rhetorical appeals. Using these types of speeches, he was able to capture the hearts and attention of the audience he wanted to touch the matter on.

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Martin Luther King Jr. first starts off his speech using an assertive and calming tone, determine in what he’s going to say throughout his speech. His voice is not too loud, but not too soft for the words coming out of his mouth is clear. Wanting to illustrate the injustice in which citizens of color in America have been going through. He first uses parallel as he started to explain how roughly about 100 years ago, “five score years ago” (King), Abraham Lincoln: former president of the Unites States, was able to sign the Emancipation Proclamation to declare “that all persons held as slaves, within rebellious states, are, and henceforward shall be free.” This was to end all discrimination against people of color, but fast forward to years later, this was not the case. In the 1960s and even before that, he still noticed that one-sidedness primarily towards whites in society. He explains that “100 years later”, there hasn’t been much growth in segregation and how often him and his people feel “exile in his own land”.

Using a melancholic tone towards his voice to show the audience his pain from the state society was in. To get the audience more engaged with the matter, Dr. King uses sentiment roughly throughout his whole speech, pitying the inhuman of social discrimination in America and refers back to the Declaration of Independence, that all men, whites and blacks, were also guaranteed “unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” King speaks of insisting how society has failed to fulfill the promise that was once given to them and starts to critique America on its deceitful law to which was to give hope to humanity. He allows the people to feel remorse and continue on to say how much work is needed in the general public and government. Not shy away, he was able to let his opinions get more significant, letting people know the issue is serious.

As Dr. King starts to move the audience with his persistent passion to change the influence on American society, he starts transitioning towards a more aspiration and demanding tone. Using a direct tone, he tells the crowd of civilians “We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical force. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical with soul force.” His feeling at this point was strongly followed by looking fixedly at the crowd, allowing himself to connect to everyone how assured he was to see the changes in society. Having these types of methods while having eye contact with the audience was key to move them in his vision.

The persuasive speech that Martin Luther King Jr. gave to fellow Americans, mostly intended towards white people, was none other than to change the discrimination and segregation in the community and see the future of equality for all men. Carefully, choosing his words and tone, he managed to change society’s view, shifting them into an equal economy. I find his speech to be correctly given, in a sense that it was straight forward but not harshly to anger the crowd. The subject was very difficult to persuade, however: the tactics used throughout helped him in his favor to move America in the right place.

11 February 2020

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