Analysis of Excerpt from Martin Luther King’s “Why We Can’t Wait”

Decent Essays

America in the 1960’s was a dark, despairing environment for African Americans, or Negroes. Conditions in all areas of life were poor, chances of success were slim to none, and appreciation or acceptance in the community was barely a dream. Negroes of this time were downtrodden, disrespected, and poorly treated. In his book, “Why We Can’t Wait,” Martin Luther King uses historical allusion, emotive imagery, rhetorical questions, and juxtaposition to convey the negative, daunting poor social conditions of Black Americans in the 1960’s. The first literary device utilized by King in his work is historical allusion. The subject matter which he presents to achieve his rhetorical purpose of depicting the dreadful situation of blacks in …show more content…

Emotive imagery is flexibly employed by King in this passage to achieve his overall rhetorical goal. The next literary element that King uses is rhetorical question. Martin Luther King uses rhetorical questions to provoke deep thoughts or bring up topics in his prose. One example of a rhetorical question in Why We Can’t Wait is, “Why does misery constantly

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