Message in “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King

“I Have a Dream” is one of the most famous and frequently cited public speeches of modern times. It was conveyed by a remarkable orator and activist, Martin Luther King, who became an icon and a prominent leader in the struggle against discrimination in the United States and across the world. “I Have a Dream” motivates readers and listeners to promote equality and remain hopeful in their fight. The meaning of this address will be analyzed in the present paper, along with a personal response to it.

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The selected piece was written with the use of multiple metaphors and allusions. One of the most interesting of them is as follows: “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low” (King, 1963, p. 5). When saying this, the author did not refer to geographic landscapes but implied social and psychological inequality deeply rooted in human minds and the legal system of the country. A valley to be exalted is a discriminated African American whose rights are continuously disrespected, while mountains to be made low are white individuals who possess power. The main message of this passage and the speech as a whole is that the positions of the two groups of people should be made equal once and forever.

As a reader, I was impressed with the eloquence of Martin Luther King’s language and his mastery of the words. However, besides the beauty of expression, the speech is characterized by a strong emotional appeal and logic. Firstly, it describes the experiences of people who suffered from racial oppression most. Secondly, it refers to legal principles and the traditional American values, which can convince even those who do not empathize with the victims of discrimination much. Thus, it is valid to say that at the time of the address in 1963, speech could have a strong effect on both supporters and opponents of Mr. King’s message.


King, M. L. (1963). I have a dream. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Message in "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King." June 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Message in "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King." June 8, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Message in "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King'. 8 June.

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