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Rhetorical Analysis/Rhetorical Analysis

Assignment #2: Rhetorical Analysis (Digital Receipt #9)

Posted by Ashraf Alam on

One rhetorical situation that I found interesting was the infamous MLK speech at the Lincoln memorial; thus chose to talk about it. The speech, lasting just short of seven minutes, was delivered by Martin Luther King. Jr, 1963, was credited as one of the main foundations for the civil rights moment as it bought attention and change following the speech and his unfortunate demise. His pothos is his expression of how people of color were treated and chined down by society, his ethos of being known for peaceful protests, the infamous bus boycotts, and his logos where he expresses his ideas about equality for all playing a role in his speech. In terms of appealing to people, he wanted the world to hear it; more especially he wanted government officials and local people to hear the speech. Since government officials have the power to change (those that are in Congress) and local people are the subject group he wanted to bring this change. MLK was very fixed in his ways of nonviolence, hence why I think this was one of the ways he expressed himself: through his voice as an American. 

Out of all the points he made during his speech and the topics he skipped through, I found his approach and point of view as a speaker interesting: his opinions on what he had to say. I noticed where he had chosen to give the speech: under the Lincoln memorial. Aside from the obvious symbolism, he stood next to not only people of color but people of no color. It drove home the point he was trying to make to the world. Following that, I noticed he used a lot of American legislative quotes, talking about how he wanted everyone to be born equal in this nation and the emancipation proclamation. He brought up the notion of the emancipation proclamation and what power it held back then, but such powers were not working: people of color were still not equal. 

He uses his own emotions: his dreams, where he wishes to see people of every color and race playing together in the park, or how he wishes to see his children be judged by the context of their character, not race or skin color. It adds personality and personalization to his context and what he is preaching. It sets a common goal that makes him more acceptable to the local and common people. 

Finally, he talks about the issues faced during those oppressive times, where people of color were treated harshly. He describes how they are left alone on an island, saying they are separated from society and still under acts of discrimination. 

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