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Martin Luther King Rhetorical Analysis

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Comparing texts Year 9

F Harrison Nov. 2002

Comparing Texts Rhetorical Devices

Extract A. “ I have A Dream” Martin Luther King.

Martin Luther King gave this speech to a civil rights march in Washington DC in 1963.

It is one of the most famous speeches of the twentieth century. The march was about

giving black people the same rights as white people in America.

I say to you, my friends, that even though we must face the difficulties of today

and tomorrow, I still have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live

out the true meaning of its creed: �We hold these truths to be self-evident; that

all men are created equal.’

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former

slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at

the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering

with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be

transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where

they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their


I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh

shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the south with. 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, knowing that we will be

free one day.

This will be when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

�My country �tis of thee

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing:

Land of where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims’ pride

From every mountainside

Let freedom ring.’

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every

hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day

when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles,

Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of

the old Negro spiritual, �Free at last! Free at last!Thank God Almighty, we are

free at last!’

Comparing texts Year 9

F Harrison Nov. 2002

Comparing Texts Rhetorical Devices

Extract B. Old Major’s Speech. Animal Farm by George Orwell.

George Orwell wrote the novel Animal Farm telling the story of the Russian Revolution as a parrallel tale

of animals rebelling against human beings. Old Major, a pig, begins the story with this speech to the other


Comrades you have heard already about the strange dream that I had last night. But I will come to

the dream later. I have something else to say first. I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you

for many months longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom as I

have acquired.

Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable,

laborious and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our

bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength;

and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous

cruelty. No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No

animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery; that is the plain truth.

Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny

of human beings? Only get rid of man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost

overnight we could become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body

and soul for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion! I

do not know when that rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I

know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet , that sooner or later justice will be done.

And now , comrades, I will tell you about my dream last night… It was a dream of the earth as it

will be when Man has vanished. It reminded me of something I had long forgotten. Last night , it

came back to me in my dream. And what is more, the words of the song also came back. I will




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