Martin Luther King Junior's I Have A Dream

1042 Words5 Pages
Love and Hate
“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” (Martin Luther King Junior). In Martin Luther King Junior’s “I Have a Dream” speech, he declared that although America had treated him and other African-Americans unfairly, he refused to see the country as beyond the point of restoration. King had an underlying faith in his homeland that was steadfast. Similar to King’s outlook on his country, Claude McKay, the poet behind “America,” chose to keep his faith in his homeland in the midst of his struggles. Despite all of the hardships in his life, he remained optimistic. Through McKay’s poem, “America,” he conveys
…show more content…
Because McKay turns his country into a person, the offenses against him seem much more personal. He begins the poem by writing, “Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth…” (1-2). Immediately, because McKay morphs America into a person, the reader is able to see that the relationship between the poet and “her” is abusive. It is obvious that America has caused the author of the poem distress and that “she” is constantly looking for ways to make him feel small. Since McKay describes his country as a person rather than a thing, it makes the poem more emotional which adds to the severity of his hardships. Even though it seems as if McKay’s relationship with America is toxic, he also experiences joy through her. McKay describes a glimpse of hope when he writes, “Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood” (7). The promises of America and her greatness seem to provide the poet with a sense of fascination. He is entangled by her grandeur even when she wrongs him. Because America is referred to as a person rather than a thing, McKay is able to draw the reader in closer to his personal struggle of finding hope throughout hard…show more content…
He is able to emphasize the message of the poem through his own personal voice as the speaker. McKay uses shifts in tone as a device to demonstrate his love hate relationship with his country as well. At some points of the poem, he has a positive outlook, where in other portions he seems to be negative about the future. McKay also personifies America as a whole in order to make the offenses against him seem even more personal. All of these elements combined make the theme of hope that the poet emphasizes stronger. His notion of keeping his head held high despite challenges is an important message in today’s world. Groups who feel that they are oppressed can see that hope is not completely lost through “America”. The world presents its guests with countless hardships, so it is the job of the people to continue to stay
Open Document