“I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King is one of the most inspiring speeches in the United States. The speech forms part of United States of America because it inspires and motivates different crowds. A quick read into this speech is enough to inspire anyone and make them better people. The language used in this speech can make people change their ways and act in a particularly positive manner that they thought they would never behave. “I have a dream” is inspirational, and this essay will be able to prove how successful this speech has been in inspiring people across the globe. I have a dream is successful because it shows the world the importance of living together regardless of skin color.
In the speech, Martin Luther King uses his words eloquently to encourage and pass his message to the audience. The confidence he has while delivering the speech helps him to paint the picture of the message he intends to give to the public. Martin Luther King uses repetition in his speech to make the message he is passing to the audience memorable (Carr, Catherine). For instance, the phrase “I have a dream” is common in the speech, which emphasizes the message to the customer. After every repetition, Martin Luther King then paints the picture of life. In addition, he shows the struggles that people go through in life. These images are pictures that people easily relate to making the speech inspirational.
The use of metaphors is common in the speech. Metaphors refer to the use of symbolic words to acquire an implied comparison of things (Johnson, Mark). The presence of these metaphors helps Martin Luther King to pass his message to the audience in a more understandable manner. For instance, in the speech, Martin Luther King urges his audience to rise from racial segregation. He compares the racial discrimination to darkness and a desolate valley (Carr, Catherine). On the contrary, he compares the racial justice that will be achievable if people rise from racial segregation to a sunlight path. The sunlight path and the desolate valley are two different metaphors used to show the difference that exists between the current state where there are segregation and the future where there are hopes for racial justice.
Sharpening the ideas he had through contrast is the main reason as to why the speech is inspirational and fruitful. For instance, in the speech, Martin Luther King has contrasted the past situation and the present situation; he has also contrasted the current situation and the likely future situation. He has provided a solution for every problem that he mentions in the speech. For instance, in the speech, Martin Luther King says, “With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood” (King, Martin Luther). This statement shows a contrast between the present situation and the future, which helps pass the inspirational message.
In addition, Martin Luther King assures the audience that there is hope in the future at the end of the speech. This assurance is what keeps people going and inspires them to engage themselves in acts that will help eradicate some of the struggles like racism. Dr. King paints a picture to the audience about how the future will be using an aspirational message. He assures the crowd that one day in America, children will play together regardless of their skin tone. (Carr, Catherine).
While the racial discrimination has reduced, there are far fewer jobs for the unskilled workers in the society most of which are the black people. In other words, the unemployment rate for the black population is still higher than that of the white people in America. In other parts of the nation, white people still refuse to live with the African Americans. This fact represents one of the main reasons why the speech is not a success. Although racial discrimination reduces, the hope offered by Dr. Martin Luther King in his speech proves to be significant. The black people and the whites can attend the same schools today, and America even managed to elect its first black President Barrack Obama.
In conclusion, Martin Luther King’s speech has been successful using metaphors, contrasts, and repetition to pass a clear message to his audience, which remained memorable through time. He used eloquent words rather than facts to convince people of the message that he intended to pass. Furthermore, Martin Luther King gave the nation a hope, by promising them that if they act towards eradicating the dark past full of segregation, then they would peacefully live together in the future. He assures the people that he has a dream that his children will one day live in a country where the citizens do not judge them for being black but rather for who they are in character (King, Martin Luther). In other word’s Martin Luther King’s masterful craft and delivery make his messages more stirring and powerful inspiring the people to act right for the better future making this speech successful.
- Carr, Catherine. “What Made “I Have A Dream” Such A Perfect Speech.” Fast Company, 2015, https://www.fastcompany.com/3040976/what-made-i-have-a-dream-such-a-perfect-speech.
- Johnson, Mark. “Metaphor And Philosophy: A Special Issue Of Metaphor And Symbolic Activity.” Language Arts & Disciplines, vol 10, no. 3, 2014,.
- King, Martin Luther. I have a dream. Edizioni Mondadori, 2015.