Martin Luther King Jr Speech Figurative Language Essay

488 Words2 Pages
Although the Vietnam War was an event of the past, the debate on America’s involvement in the war has been ongoing for several years. In his 1967 speech, Beyond Vietnam, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior states that America’s participation in the Vietnam War is unjust. By using a combination of figurative language, personal anecdotes, and emotional appeal, King is able to build a convincing argument for the unreasonable involvement of the United States in the war. To begin, King uses figurative language in the first half of his speech to highlight the destructive nature of the war, strengthening his overall position. Despite having a “shining moment” of “experiments, hopes, [and] new beginnings” during the struggle for human rights, King illustrates the Vietnam War as “broken and eviscerate” and a “political plaything of a society gone mad on war”. Through utilising figurative language to juxtapose optimistic progress and “demonic destruction”, King is able to emphasise how devastating the Vietnam War is. Additionally, by constructing an optimistic view on the civil rights situation during that time period and immediately refuting it, King is able to establish a strong sense of…show more content…
King states that America “would never be free” and “can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over.” Despite portraying America in a despondent light, King ends his speech indicating “America will be…led down the path of protest and dissent.” By elaborating on a possibility of America could be if left to its own devices and then shattering it by sharing what America will be through change, King completely amplifies his argument. Furthermore, by mentioning such a pessimistic possibility, King further sways his audience by stirring their sentimental and patriotic
Open Document