ENGL 102 Lesson 12

ENGL 102 Lesson 12 - Joseph Walter Clark 15 Mar. 2008...

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Joseph Walter Clark 15 Mar. 2008 English 102 Lesson 12 A Comparison of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” and “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King’s speech “I Have a Dream” was originally given in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Over two thousand people attended the speech (wikipedia), and they were both white and black supporters of the civil rights movement (King). In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” King appeals to a group of clergymen while incarcerated for “parading without a permit”. He is attempting to convince them that creative direct action is necessary and prudent. In doing so, King thoroughly outlines his tactics for the civil rights movement, and provides a history of their efforts especially in Birmingham. His hope is that through the Church his ideas will reach the white power structure and eventually lead to further negotiations for desegregation and justice. “I Have a Dream” is a very simple and pointed speech. It has an overarching theme meant to inspire hope and direct action in the supportive attendants. The audience of it is driven by two principle characteristics. They are Americans of every race, creed and age. Also, they are the masses, and are given to the same dispositions of any herd. Much less effective is King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. In this, he is trying to
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ENGL 102 Lesson 12 - Joseph Walter Clark 15 Mar. 2008...

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