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Essay#2 - Hughes 1 Sean Hughes Professor White Introduction...

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Hughes 1 Sean Hughes Professor White Introduction to Literature 3 March 2008 Community The idea of community has always been important to man. In 54 BC Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.” This idea is the premise of both Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Both of these works directly address the issues of community in the United States and, consequently, abroad. Dr. King delivered his speech much like a Sermon, with his familiar Southern Baptist zeal, while Whitman uses a more formal tone in his poem. Despite their apparent differences many common themes and values can be found throughout the works. Dr. King and Whitman both deal with the ‘American Dream” and how it can be realized, both have a national sense of optimism, both emphasize the importance in taking pride in oneself and one’s actions. Also, it should be pointed out that the generic conventions utilized by the two authors are very similar in the sense that both authors wanted to appeal to the largest number of people possible, so they used a genre familiar to their intended audience, one that catered familiar diction, allusions to familiar works, and familiar imagery to their intended audiences.
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