11/25

In Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, his thesis was the Negroes should rise above their persecution and that all men, women, and children should be free.  This is a value claim.  King’s values tell him that all people, no matter what race, should be treated as equals.

The introduction of King’s speech was easy to find, consisting of the first few paragraphs.  He clearly states in his introduction his whole purpose of the speech.  First he gives America credit by talking about the Emancipation Proclamation.  Then King states the problem of discrimination and “reminds America of the fierce urgency of now”.  He uses picturesque language to paint a vivid picture of discrimination still found in society.  In the body of King’s speech, he gradually works his way into his thesis that comes in the concluding paragraphs of the speech.  The first part of the body he demands that America keep their promise of freedom and reminds the Negroes to keep the faith, not giving up to the white supremacy.  Next King speaks to the whites saying the Negroes will never be satisfied until they are totally free.  Then King shows the nation of his dream, which helps the Negroes keep the faith.  Later in the body, King points out that they must keep hope, going back to earlier statements in his speech for freedom.  Finally King draws to a conclusion, but not after setting the hearts of everyone in the crowd on fire, urging them to save the nation by ending the racism that the Negroes have been facing.

The conclusion also tells us of King’s thesis, to become a truly great nation, it must let freedom ring by giving every man, black or white, the freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Ethos: In his speech, King frequently looks back at moments in American history and refers to the leaders who laid the foundation of free America. This adds ethical appeal to his speech.

Pathos: The emotional appeal or pathos in his speech grows stronger when King spells out that the freedom and rights the African Americans have been being denied is a debt on the nation and this debt has kept growing larger

Logos: As King explains in the later parts of his speech that Black community can gain control using nonviolent and peaceful methods and not through recklessness or violence.

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