A Rhetorical Analysis: Of I Have A Dream

1836 words - 7 pages

In Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech, King makes use of an innumerable amount of rhetorical devices that augment the overall understanding and flow of the speech. King makes the audience feel an immense amount of emotion due to the outstanding use of pathos in his speech. King also generates a vast use of rhetorical devices including allusion, anaphora, and antithesis. The way that King conducted his speech adds to the comprehension and gives the effect that he wants to rise above the injustices of racism and segregation that so many people are subjected to on a daily basis.
Throughout King’s speech, he uses the rhetorical mode, pathos, to give the audience an ambience of strong emotions such as sympathy. For example, whites had sympathy for African Americans and parents had sympathy for their children. The way that King tells his speech takes the focus off of race and reestablishes it on the aspiration of a world without racism. “…by making his audience no longer hate Negroes and instead hate racism and wish for a new, better world…” (L., Anson). Dr. King made the audience sympathize with African Americans, helping the audience realize that racist people and bias ideas caused the true dilemma of discrimination. Through making the audience realize this, he also gave them hope for a world reborn without racism, without segregation, without discrimination, and without hate. King wanted his children to live in a world without judgment of race, but with the consideration of personality, for nobody should not endure judgment because of the way that they look. He spoke of his own children, which introduced a reinforced emotional attachment to the audience; this gave many parents a scenario to relate to because no parent wants their child exposed to the horrid crimes of discrimination. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” (King). King creates an enforced emotional appeal to the audience by using pathos, and he makes the audience feel empathy for the way that whites have treated non-whites for over a century.
King also uses allusion to augment his point in his speech. Throughout his speech he makes many references to the Bible. “…justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” (King). King alludes to the bible verse Amos 5:24. Through the allusion, King depicts that he wants justice to overtake the injustices of discrimination, and for justice to not only overcome discrimination, but for it to flow through America forever. King believed that humans live in a world where God does not judge people by their race and that people should not judge each other off of the color of their skin. “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and that the glory of...

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