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Stylistic Analysis of I Have A Dream

All the fun is in how you say a thing. Robert Frosts words give us a perfect explanation about why the style is so important in an article. According to Alan Warner style is a way of writing a manner of expressing ones thoughts and feelings in words. A same meaning can have different effects on its readers by being put in different ways. !his article is to ta"e the famous speech of #artin $uther %ing as an example to analy&e and discuss its stylistic characteristics. 't is not only the spirit of e(uality and liberty advocated in the speech but also its impressive style that contribute to its great success. )tyle*Author +roo"s and Warren in an excellent boo" Fundamental of Good Writing have compared style to the grain in wood. !he style of a wor" is not a sort of veneer glued over the outside. ,n the contrary it is li"e the pattern of the grain in a piece of wood. 't is a pattern that goes all the way through- a manifestation of the growth and development of the stricture of the tree itself. As a man thin"s and feels so will he write. 'f his thoughts are muddled his style will be muddled. 'f his thoughts are clear and sharp his writing will be clear and sharp. A mans style wrote .merson is his minds voice. And he added- Wooden minds wooden voices. )ince style is something ingrained in writing and not stuc" on top li"e a veneer it follows that a mans way of wring will be an expression of his personality and his way of loo"ing at life. #artin $uther %ing the follower of the nonviolent principles of #ahatma /randhi conveyed his belief to the audience through the whole speech. All he said about the poor living conditions of 0egro and the discrimination against the blac" people was nothing but fact. !hat is he didnt say anything exaggerative or sensational to turn the listeners into riot. ,n the contrary he stated clearly that they should struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline instead of degenerating into physical violence. 'n addition the author was also a supporter of eliminating the racial discrimination in society. 'n the speech he formed a beautiful blue print of white and blac" people living e(ually and happily together. ' 1d li"e to use the sentence given by +uffon a French writer and naturalist of th 23 century to sum up my idea- $e style cest lhomme meme. 4)tyle it is the man himself.5 6lean .nglish 'n another sense the word style is often used to mean good clean .nglish. Raymond 6hapman the author of A Short Way to Better English states- +ad writing is caused not so much by mista"es in grammar as by wea"ness in style. Wea"ness in style here means clumsiness of expression lac" of precision and accuracy obscurity and ambiguity and anything that hinders the writer from conveying his meaning clearly and vividly to the reader. 'n my opinion the best way of describing .nglish that is clear and vigorous free from verbiage and affectations and doing its 7ob of conveying meaning cleanly to the readers. !he following paragraphs will discuss the point of clean .nglish from 8 aspects. !he Arrangement
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!his speech aims to call the attention of the whole society to the poor condition the blac"s and the 0egro were still in and highlight the urgent need to change it. !he author didnt state it immediately at the beginning of his speech. 'nstead he started by mentioning the history. 'n this way the author convinced his listeners that they had the right and obligation to ma"e e(uality come true in the society because it was handed down from their ancestors. !he author then brought out the discrimination and segregation blac" people were suffering in reality and further demonstrated the blac" peoples firm determination to overthrow the present world. 'f the author had "ept on in this direction the audience especially those who had been long oppressed would have raised a riot since the speech was emotion9stirring and to9the9bottom9of :the9 heart. At this very moment the author shifted from sensitivity to sense. ;e made it very clear that nonviolent resistance was the best and only means for them to achieve their aim. !hey should forever conduct the struggle on the high plan of dignity and discipline. 'n the last part he formed the blueprint of a peaceful happy world in which life and opportunity are e(ual to every person. ;e then again called for the audience to fight for the wonderful bright future life. !he arrangement of the whole speech is full of logical thin"ing. !he author led the audience into his mind step by step. ;e finally succeeded in persuading them to be on his side and march ahead with him hand in hand. !he Figure of )peech ,ne of the main rhetoric means in the speech is metaphor. 't is the authors appropriate use of metaphor that ma"es abstract things concrete and sharps the audiences mind. 'n short it 7ust hits the nail on the head. .xample 2- the blac" people- creditor the government- debtor !he author compared the relationship between blac" people and the government to that of a creditor and a debtor. 'n this way the author dramati&ed the fact that the blac" people had contributed a lot to the construction and prosperity of the society and it was time for them to be paid and get what they deserved because the blac" people had provided their service in advance. Whats more the government had promised to improve the living conditions and eliminate discrimination in the society where colored people were concerned. 't was their obligation to bring out e(uality in the true sense of the word. .xample <- the urgent need for freedom- thirst for water As is "nown to all that any being will surely die without water. 'n the authors mind freedom and 7ustice was as important as water to him. $ife would be meaningless and also impossible without them. !he blac" peoples act of fighting for a better life and freedom was driven by their instincts. Freedom and 7ustice are fundamental to a persons life. .xcept for the above the author also described the persecution and police brutality as storms and winds implying that though they seemed powerful they would surely pass by and be replaced by a sunny day= the in7ustice which the 0egro slaves were treated with as flames reminding the audience of the unimaginable horrible sufferings the 0egro slaves went through= segregation and discrimination as
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manacles and chains highlighting the fact that the blac" were crippled both physically and mentally. 6ontract 6ontrast > #etaphor.xample 2- !he rest of the American society is a vast ocean of material prosperity while the 0egro live on a lonely island. ' li"e this sentence very much because it gives us the sense that the 0egro the blac"s were completely isolated. 'sland and ocean are two (uite different things. !he space of the ocean is much larger than that of the island. ?eople on the oceans can swim freely and en7oy abundant resources while the islands inhabitants are restricted within it a solid earth. 't can be inferred from here that the whites lived a much better life than the blac"s and they all en7oyed the social welfare while the blac"s were totally neglected. .xample <- the (uic"sand of racial in7ustice @.) the solid roc" of brotherhood !his use of contract contrast and metaphor conveys the meaning that racial in7ustice was 7ust li"e (uic"sand9999it was wea" and bound to vanish. !he brotherhood was li"e the solid roc"9999it would stand firmly and last forever. ?arallelism 'ts a common practice to use the method of parallelism in speeches on the grounds that it can easily catch the attention of the listeners arouse their awareness and ma"e them 7oin hand in hand with the speech. !his speech is no exception. .xample- 0ow is the time to ma"e real the promises of Aemocracy. 0ow is the time to rise from the dar" and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial 7ustice. 0ow is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of /ods children. 0ow is the time to lift our nation from the (uic"sand of racial in7ustice to the solid roc" of brotherhood. !he four sentences together start with the same phrase 0ow is the timeB to ma"e the listeners reali&e the urgent need to change the reality. !he listeners have the sense of being driven to the edge by a "ind of growing power9999they must ta"e action at onceC 'n conclusion the stylistic characteristics of an article can reveal to readers some information about the author. Whats more an article with strong style can impress its readers by its good clean .nglish.

References6leanth +roo"s and Robert ?enn Warren Fundamental of Good Writing 4Aobson 2DE<5 Alan Warner A Shout Guide to English Style 4$ondon ,xford Fniversity ?ress 2DG25 H< < H<H<28<2G )ince style is the way of using language to express ones thoughts and feelings the most suitable pre9modifier to it is appropriate or inappropriate rather than good bad strong or wea".
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'n some sense style is a person or everyone has his style. !here is no person who has no style in the world. !hat is why our study of ones style starts with the choice of words namely lexical level and then turns to the choice of sentence structure namely syntactic level before discussing the use of figure of speech namely semantic level. +esides what is most li"ely to be neglected is the use of sound patterns namely phonological level. )o much the better if you could follow the format of the thesis writing as shown in the ?ower?oint of this course.