In Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, his thesis was the Negroes should rise above their persecution and that all men, women, and children should be free. This is a value claim. King's values tell him that all people, no matter what race, should be treated as equals. Later in the speech King says, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal'". King states a fact that if America says everyone is created equal, they should be treated as equals. King uses motivation when he says "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back". King is getting the Negroes "pumped up" here. Another value King has is that the Negro's should not result to physical violence in their march to freedom. He supports this by telling his people that there are whites here that realize freedom for Negroes will help everyone. King also values the keeping of one's promise. He will not accept the "bad check" from America but will fight until they "cash it".
In King's speech, his main audience is the Negroes but he is also talking to the white people in the crowd. He is talking to both sexes and all ages. The uneducated will be able to understand what he is saying because he had to talk to mostly uneducated Negroes. When King says, "…for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today…", it gave evidence that he is talking to the white people also. King was motivated to write this speech after the Negroes were still not completely free from "racial injustice". King was tired of letting his people being run by the whites and saw the "urgency of now". He saw how close they were to freedom and could taste it but could not have the whole meal because it was only an appetizer. King decided to become a leader and motivated his people to take the next step toward freedom.
The introduction of King's speech was easy to find, consisting of the first few paragraphs. He clearly states in his introduction his whole purpose of the speech. First he gives America credit by talking about the Emancipation Proclamation. Then King states the problem of discrimination and "reminds America of the fierce urgency of now". He uses picturesque language to paint a vivid picture of discrimination still found in society. In the body of King's speech, he gradually works his way into his thesis that comes in the concluding paragraphs of the speech. The first part of the body he demands that America keep their promise of freedom and reminds the Negroes to keep the faith, not giving up to the white supremacy. Next King speaks to the whites saying the Negroes will never be satisfied until they are totally free. Then King shows the nation of his dream, which helps the Negroes keep the faith. Later in the body, King points out that they must keep hope, going back to earlier statements in his speech for freedom. Finally King draws to a conclusion, but not after setting the hearts of everyone in the crowd on fire, urging them to save the nation by ending the racism that the Negroes have been facing. The conclusion also tells us of King's thesis, to become a truly great nation, it must let freedom ring by giving every man, black or white, the freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Language and styles of writing are very important to an effective speech. King uses both abstract and concrete language to make clear the purpose of his speech. The first sentence of King's speech uses concrete language in the line "Five score years ago" to remind the crowd of Abraham Lincoln's great Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. King also uses the line "We hold these truths self-evident; that all men are created equal" to draw attention to the Declaration of Independence. He does this hoping that the audience would know that the government has promised everyone, black or white, certain