Beginning almost as soon in America as what is known as “America” did, slavery lead to hatred against the African and African-American races (known as negro or black in the vernacular), and as time progressed these races became more entwined with life in America until the time came where they were seen as equals by a majority of the population, and they were freed from the shackles of slavery. This, however, did not stop racism, it, instead, increased its effect, for many people, especially those in the South, hated the color for being freed.
This hatred led to the segregation and inequality of many colored peoples for almost one hundred years; until, the Supreme Court, in the Brown versus Board of Education case, said the segregation of blacks did not adhere to the United State’s constitution. This began the more than a decade long crusade known to history as the American Civil Rights Movement; the civil rights movement was led by many famous figures including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks, only to name a few.
On the twenty-eighth August, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , delivered a speech to over a hundred thousand people, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, known by the name “I Have a Dream. ” The diction, parallelism, and syntax used by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , create a feeling of unity in the audience and helped to further the impact the speech had on the civil rights movement. Dr. King’s diction connects the audience with himself creating an ubiquitous feeling of relation.
Firstly, the quote “But we refuse to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt… a check that ill give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. ” Dr. King could have chosen a different allusion and changed the words like “check” and “bankrupt” that go along with it. The words have a “better” connotation than any other he could have chosen, for the words used are easy to understand but still carry with them a tonnage of feeling. The ease of this quote to relate to and to understand while its gravity still holds is a difficult task and helps to make much of the audience relate because he did not make them feel lower using a more powerful and intimidating vocabulary.
Next, the recursive word dream is a loaded word much more powerful than the majority of words; it holds a strong connotation to the utmost limits of a persons imagination and what that person sees can be accomplished only in his or her imagination. People related to King’s dream because most everyone has dreams, and most everyone would like to see them come to fruition. This feeling of having something similar to King helps people feel his struggle of trying to realize his dream and makes them want to help King to appreciate his dream.
Lastly, King’s usage of the word “we” brings people together. The usage of a personal pronoun grouping himself with the audience is much more uniting than that of the singular “l” isolating himself from the crowd. King does this well keeping himself relating to the crowd while still expressing his own separate beliefs using the word “T” half as much as that of “we. ” King’s choice of words unite the audience on King’s dream on his goal which is, after this speech, no longer his goal but the countries. Dr.
King’s usage of parallelism in this speech bequeaths upon the audience an immense obligation to follow King and his cause with gusto. Primarily, through parallelism King highlights on the states considered to be the most racist, but he does not talk down to them he instead speaks only of the good of those places and the racism in the past. The parallelism of this sets the sentences together, alone from the text, delivering them as equals highlighting the similarities in each place, but it also highlights the booming confidence King has in what he’s doing and what this movement will accomplish.
This glaring confidence and optimistic views for even the worst of places not only unites those who have felt the repercussions of the area but of those who see King as a leader, as their leader, for he will make all of America a safer place for all members of society. Next, King spoke of freedom ringing from a mountain or raised landmass from a throng of states. This firstly emphasizes the importance of freedom, for mountains often symbolize something close to the heavens or godlike, so King is saying to him freedom is something belonging to the heavens.
This detail from the speech also has King listing many places in the United States amassing those living in those places and touching each one personally to join him on his cause; his use in landform size also has an effect on the person, for when he says, “… from the snow-capped Rockies … [and] from every hill and molehill… ” he chooses to use different sizes to also encompass the different sizes of people. Big or small may follow him he is indifferent. Finally, Dr.
King says “With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together… ” This quote of all of Dr. Kings is the most unifying, for it is King saying he is willing to do anything for his cause and he will do it with the audience. King uses his parallelism to unify the audience on one ground which they all share, one ground of freedom, the soil of America. King uses syntax to direct the speech towards each individual in the audience.
Primarily, after talking for a time about not hating white people King stops to say four abrupt words cutting into the style of the speech so far, “We cannot walk alone. ” These words bring together not only the colored audience but also the white people, for the immediate change in pace draws attention and speaks to those about whom he was speaking before. That not only those who have been mistreated, as he has been saying up to this point, but instead all people should follow.
Penultimately, “I have a dream… the name of the speech and a repeated word throughout is not used until the latter parts of the speech. The reason for this is so that as the audience loses interest the main topic begins and keeps the readers interest this unites the reader with King because it keeps the reader interested and relates. Ultimately, King, in the last full paragraph does not end it with end punctuation but alternatively continues it with a colon to finish off the paragraph still flowing keeping the audience waiting for a hard stop.
King then delivers with three continuous exclamations that the audience is free, and the audience will storm off with King free at last. Overall, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , unites his audience and treats them as equals, no signs of demeaning, putting them on an even playing field with himself using his diction. King isolates each person together by grouping him or her with him using parallelism. Finally, King persuades the audience to follow him into freedom with his strong syntax and smooth flowing speech.