Freedom is something every great American try to strive for. It is stated in the Bill of Rights that every American has the rights to their basic freedoms.
It is the base to the American Dream. MLK explains freedom like chains wrapping around you and consuming you meaning freedom comes with a price; you have to fight for your freedom. That is what these two great men are trying to explain in their historical speeches. Martin Luther King stated his speech 100 years apart from Abraham Lincoln’s I have Dream speech; both stating the same message, the right for peace and racial equality. These simple words that were stated over 50 and 150 years ago changed how we thought about each other and how human rights became the basis of what people set their morals on. Lincoln and MLK changed society with their words of freedom and the want for equality.
The Gettysburg Address explains how America is engaged in a (civil) war and how we must not let this stop us from being a better nation. King talks about a metaphorical war in America with the freedoms of Negros and the war of equality. The two speeches both use repetition in quotes such as “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality, heavy with the fatigue of travel, “he and all his other followers will not accept this segregation” (I Have a Dream). Martin Luther King uses repetition so people are clear of his message and what he is trying to explain in this excerpt. In this case, he is trying to state that as long as there is still discrimination in America, he will not stop fighting for what he believes in and will continue to spread the word and preach until Negros get equality.
The I Have a Dream speech and the Gettysburg Address is alike in one main way. They both rest on the idea of the American Dream. MLK uses an anaphora by repeating “Let freedom ring from Lookout mountain of Tennessee, let freedom ring, from the curvaceous slopes of California” and by repeating this phrase, the audience understands his point of view, let freedom ring represents that America will no longer be segregated (I Have a Dream). Both include one major quote from the Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal,” (I Have a Dream) this states that every man, woman, and child white or colored have their right to basic freedom. Both MLK and Lincoln address a specific part of the nation; MLK with the African Americans and Lincoln with the Union. This all ties to the American Dream because they both wanted America to be a better place for people to live in, it is the land of the free and of opportunity and freedom should not be given to only certain people; it is an essential human concept.
Although the Gettysburg Address and the I Have a Dream Speech was made for about the same reason, they have many unrelated topics. MLK does not mention the affliction caused in the struggle for freedom, he is a very peaceful man and wanted to deal with this without conflict. The quote “The living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which those who fought here have so nobly advanced.” (Gettysburg Address) states to the fact that we should not let the deaths of people that fought for their equality go in vain but instead should be honored for their heroicness. Lincoln mentions the civil war as the thing causes conflict on the idea of social equality. In the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln uses many rhetorical devices such as parallelism where he refers to everything using we or our.
“We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate”, we cannot hollow this ground” (Gettysburg Address), it refers to the listeners of this speech in 1st person and throughout the whole thing, he keeps the same context for the reason of making the listeners relate to the speech and make them fully understand the concept of freedom but not leaving out the Union and making references that everyone can understand so they can have the same opinion as him on this topic. In Contrast; MLK mentions the poverty and the hardships such as not being able to stay in hotels or police cruelty. Although King also uses parallelism by constantly using we and our, he mainly refers to the African Americans and has a one-sided point of view on this topic. Lincoln talks more about the use of slaves in the south. Lincoln’s focus was for the Union. MLK’s focus was both talking about legal segregation in the south and using the example of ghettos in the north.
Lincoln’s main point in the Gettysburg Address was about the nation being divided and about uniting the nation in equality while MLK’s main point was to discuss the segregation of African Americans and about how this all starts with a dream and as long as you fight for what you believe in, you will eventually get what you want. In conclusion, the Gettysburg Address and the I Have a Dream speech had many similarities as long as differences. The actions that these two men took shaped America and how equality plays a part in our everyday lives now.These two speeches showed that a nation united will be more efficient, more contented and more justified.