Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream was written at a time of extreme prejudice and judgment among people from the black community (King, 1963). To achieve equality and make an emotional appeal to the reader on behalf of African Americans, Martin Luther King uses strong metaphors. He seeks to promote changes that would ultimately abolish discrimination, segregation and prejudice in the country, particularly in the South. He uses several strategies in his speech such as repetition of words like “go back,” “I have a dream,” and “let freedom ring” (King, 1963). His most powerful method, however, is the use of symbols. Metaphors such as “beacon light of hope” and “manacles of segregation,” are predominant in his speech. His analogy in comparing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to“bad check” is meant to evoke guilt in white Americans for withholding the freedom and rights of the blacks.
On the other hand, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr is a commentary on contemporary society. He bases his text on the dictum “all men are created equal” to underline his stand on equality. To seek justice from the readers, the author uses a satiric style. His mastery of social criticism is displayed through entertaining fiction. The spectacle of ballerinas who perform while encumbered by sash weights, cumbersome masks and birdshot is entertaining yet it underlines the extreme power and misguided justice system of government (Vonnegut, 1961). There is romantic imagery used to show Harrison Bergeron’s agile dance with a ballerina empress. Vonnegut shows serious criticism of the government actions and policies and his satirical writing is aimed at showing that the government should treat all people equally. Martin Luther King would have been proud of Kurt Vonnegut’s text because it is in-keeping with most of what he espoused.
Faulkner, W. (1970). A Rose for Emily,. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill.
King, M. L. (1963, August 28). I have a dream. Address. Lecture conducted from Martin Luther King, Washington D.C..
Vonnegut, K. (1961). Harrison Bergeron. New York: Mercury Press.