In his public speeches, King envisaged a diverse audience. His words were not spoken to reach the ears and touch the souls of his learned colleagues but of a complete nation, African American and white alike. Indeed he mastered his words, that they would reach the ears of ‘all’ people. This can be seen in his creative adoption of various literary devices, of which I intend to discuss in depth. Repetition, imagery, metaphors, religious and otherwise is often utilized throughout this speech. King was devoted to the notion of empowerment; his use of religious imagery was steeped in faith, dedication, and words of possibility, all of which would ultimately achieve a commitment to equality and recognition of status as citizens.
This unacceptable situation is made accessible to common people as King uses the “check”’ metaphor. All understood and could relate to a check, so to compare the current state of Negro human rights to an insufficient check was indicative of the clever, all-encompassing orator that he was.
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