Rhetorical Analysis Of I Have A Dream Speech

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On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist, delivered his renowned speech, "I Have a Dream" in the Lincoln Memorial located in Washington to millions of Americans. King relied on the use of metaphors, imagery, and anaphora to establish pathos; as well as to convey his wish to live in a country where everyone has equal civil and economic rights no matter their skin color.

King employs many metaphors throughout his speech to disclose emotions that can only be represented by comparing two things. More specifically in the beginning of his speech he compares the lack of justice to a "check with insufficient funds". By doing this, King is able to make his audience acknowledge the fact that the African American population has been essentially cheated of its freedom. This example correlates with the rest of his speech, speaking on how African Americans are treated as less than human even after being granted their freedom in 1865. To fully understand why he compares these two things the audience will need to know some background information regarding the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and how they abolished slavery and were supposed to give the African American slaves equal rights. This metaphor makes the audience ponder about how African Americans were promised equality after the Civil War and how all they got in the end was segregation and violence. Another noteworthy metaphor King uses is when he states that we need to "lift our nation from the
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