I Have a Dream- Distinctive Voices

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Distinctive voices first makes us think about what the word ‘voice’ means. It is easy to understand that speeches and plays are spoken texts but for this elective students have to understand that written texts such as poems and novels also create a sense of voice. In Martin Luther King's speech, we see that he is making a plea for change. Kings speech was delivered in Washington in 1963, as the finale to a protest march of more than 200,000 people demanding jobs and political rights for African-Americans. ‘I have a Dream’ is one of the best known speeches of the twentieth century, a thoughtful and rousing call to social justice that clearly conveys King’s impatience with continuing racial discrimination. Kings content is structured to create a compelling argument for immediate action and change. He begins with a reminder of US democratic traditions and emancipation, with “five score years” echoing the “four score years and twenty” of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, placing the speech in the context of the history of the African-American struggle in USA. Lincoln’s promise however has not been honoured. African-Americans have metaphorically been given a “bad cheque”. The social Temperature is rising but they will seek justice through doing what is right, not through resorting to violence and civil disorder. Black and white people will walk together towards a better future, acknowledging the suffering that many have already undergone in this cause. King tells them not to despair because he has a ‘dream', 'hope’ and ‘faith’. If they all dream the same dream, they will be “free at last”. In constructing his points his way, king takes his audience from recognition of the problem, to acknowledgement of their frustration and anger. His voice is inspirational, urgent, progressive, thoughtful and determined. He remains positive throughout, and certain of the legitimacy of his
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