After CAREFULLY reading "The Declaration of Independence" (pg. 407) and "I Have a Dream" (pg. 411), compare the two pieces in terms of language, style, and content. Are they equally resonant? Cite specific passages from the essays to illustrate your points. Think rhetorically! 

Online versions of the texts:

The Declaration:  
http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/index.htm

I Have a Dream: http://www.innovativeclassroom.com/Files/Reproducibles/IHaveADream.pdf


 


Comments

Emma Chester
11/16/2012 1:44pm

The language in both "The Declaration of Independence" and "I Have a Dream" is very strong and deliberate. The diction in "The Declaration of Independence" is very wordy and full of lists, which adds to the tone sounding overwhelmed and ready to break free from Great Britain. By using sophisticated words throughout the piece and tons of repetition, like when "He has" and "For" are said over and over again, it makes the case that the Colonies have reasonably requested to become Independent. The style much scholarly, and almost condescending. It is basically a list of all of the horrible things that the King has done and why it is necessary to no longer be associated with him. Whilst repeating "He has," which is passive voice, the tone and style is accusatory and annoyed. The content of "The Declaration of Independence" effectively provides sufficient evidence to argue for freedom, which is the purpose of the document. Towards the beginning, the quote "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" sets the work to then explain how the King has denied them these rights. to further the argument. The "I Have a Dream" speech also contains powerful diction. When describing the treatment of the black people, words such as "crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination" are used to amplify these concerns. The language has a plethora of anaphora and repetition. "The Negro" is used often as well as "one hundred years later" on the first page to show both distinction and an unreasonable amount of time. "Now is the time" is also restated throughout the middle, emphasizing the urgency of the period. The style of this piece is very unique. Although the issue at hand is dealing with human integrity and fairness, the tone remains pleasant and optimistic. King refers to the whites that helped them as brothers, and he focuses on his hope for a peaceful community. The content of the speech really brings the power to his words. The repetition of "I have a dream," which the speech is known for, makes this point as well. He says "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," which not only shows his wish for his children, but for all children. The speech is easy to relate to and logical, and King makes statement that all can identify with. I would say that these pieces are equally resonant is their own ways. "The Declaration of Independence" is more pushy and, as in the title, a declaration. "I Have a Dream" pleads with the nation to band together and fight for justice by making it an empowering, as well as emotional collection of words.

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11/17/2012 10:26am

Emma, I thought King's speech was very easy to relate to as well. It empowering and easy to read. I love how his speech also quoted some of the ideas and phrases in the Declaration of Independence!

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Danielle Curley
11/17/2012 5:29pm

I noticed the repetion of 'He has" as well andit remided me of "I have a dream" becasue King also uses repetion as well. It helps show that they are annoyed with government.

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11/17/2012 10:38am

First of all, let me start with how powerful both of these documents are. They're both advocating for freedom, just in different time periods and for different reasons. The Declaration of Independence was written as a letter and a petition to the monarchy of Great Britian. It was very formal and the style was extremelly old. All syntax and diction were old fashioned and long, and punctuation was used correctly in my opinion! I Have a Dream was more modern, obviously, because it was written in 1963. It was a speech, so it was directed to the government, but his purpose was to motivate his audience and to prove a point. Both documents were going against the current government, and they both stated that "all men are created equal." Both documents were declaring freedom of its people and for rights, and that their current government is doing them injustice. The Declaration actually ended in a war being fought. "He has abdicate Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us" (409). I Have a Dream ended in violence as well, but King advocated no violence, just "creative protest, and to take the high road" (412). The Declaration hopes for "British brethren" (409), and I Have a Dream hopes for Negros to have "white brothers and sisters" (413). They are advocating freedom and rights but for different reasons, and both against a form of government.

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Emma Chester
11/18/2012 5:25pm

Haley, I like that you commented on the context of the works as well! It is interesting to note that the Declaration of Independence, since it was written a much longer time ago, has more complicated syntax with old-timey diction. I also agree that they were both extremely powerful and effective.

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Maddoe Williams
11/18/2012 6:38pm

Haley I agree with what you said about both the pieces being powerful in different time periods and for different reasons!

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Kaytlynn Toering
11/17/2012 5:04pm

In both "The Declaration of Independence" and "I Have a Dream" many devices were used to captivate the reader. Thomas Jefferson uses many historical words and phrases, such as "prudence will dictate that governments..." and "...which may define a tyrant, is unfit to rule people" (407, 409). These help define Jefferson's language, and how formal things were back in the late 1700's. It is depicted as an old document, ensuring America's freedom from the British who had harshly ruled them for a number of years. Jefferson urges the King to give the Colonies their "unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." (407). His unusual style, capitalizing specific important words in each sentence puts extra stress on how important these things were to the American people. Jefferson uses numerous anaphoras and parallelism to constantly remind his opponent the things he has done to America. Jefferson really stands up for his beliefs of freedom, and says that America is done being ruled, and it is time for us to be independent. King also creates a speech meant for freedom, only this time during a period when freedom existed for some, but not for all. In the mid 1900's, blacks were still being segregated by whites everywhere, keeping them out of public areas, and insisting they be kept away from whites as much as possible. Martin Luther King Jr created a speech for people to understand that blacks were simply as special and priviledged as whites, and that they should be treated equally. King approaches his speech of freedom different from Jefferson's in the fact that it is set in a more current era in which language does not vary too much. King is simply talking to the people in sort of a casual way, explaining how blacks are being treated. He explains his dreams of living in a world where his kids can play with white children and where former slave and slaveowners are best friends (413). It is put as very urgent, and his audience is captivated by his ideas and bravery. King uses different similes and metaphors, such as "No, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream" (413). He too has many anaphoras and parralellism when talking about "I have a dream", and his urging of freedom to ring. King talks about freedom for all people. He does not want to get back at the whites. He simply wants the future of blacks to be well taken care of and finally have their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that was promised to them in Jefferson's Declaration of Independence so many years earlier. Both speeches are very powerful. Jefferson attack is, like Emma said, more forceful, while King wants to simply prove to people that all men are created equal under God. Both King and Jefferson want more than anything is freedom, and because of both speeches, this is eventually possible for all people to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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ColliHala
11/18/2012 11:41am

In both "The Declaration of Independence" and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, they used many different devices to push the same message in slightly different circumstances. The Declaration spoke from the perspective of the suppressed colonists and MLK's spoke as the suppressed African American population. Jefferson used 'we' as colonists and King used both 'we' and 'the Negro.' Both are equally as pressing for the sense of urgency and the cause behind them. Jefferson use language fitting for the time, phrases like "Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren." King used phrases for his time, like "blow off some steam," but also used some older language like "trials and tribulations."

Both strongly used parallelism in their respective works. Jefferson, while listing the complaints he had with the British monarchy, began each one with "For..." or "He...[when talking about the king.]" King used a lot of repitition, including "the Negro..." and "I have a dream..." and "Let freedom ring..."
Both pieces were designed to make others sympathetic to their cause and make the party they were aimed at to realize how poorly the author was treated. The British bullied the colonists, the white bullied the African Americans. Same thing, different scene and time.

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Jared Wendland
11/18/2012 6:50pm

I totally agree with you on the note of them pushing similar ideas of rallying against tyranny. With Jefferson toward colonists and King towards freedom fighters. Great post.

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David Tarnowski
11/18/2012 8:13pm

I don't think that the Declaration was written so much to make people sympathetic to their cause, so much as to simply state their intentions. You could say, "To officially break ties with England." That's just my opinion.

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Kathleen Risk
11/18/2012 1:10pm

Both the Declaration of Independence and the “I Have a Dream” speech are known for their powerful meaning and words. Jefferson and King both use forms of repetition to emphasis the point they are making. In the Declaration, Jefferson says “He has” over and over to state all of the Kings actions against them. He also says “for” at the beginning of multiple sentences to show other crimes that had been committed against them. This use of anaphora,as well as parallelism, is striking, and shows that they are indeed just in their need for Independence, as they have plenty of proof. The diction used by Jefferson was undoubtedly old fashioned, but it has this great effect of righteousness on the piece. One thing I noticed was that certain words were capitalized, like in “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and “Despotism,” and “Cruelty & Perfidy.” This may have just been how Jefferson wrote, but I think it was intentional because the words capitalized (other than proper nouns and such) made it much more important than it would have been if not capitalized. The Declaration was written as a petition, and it's intended audience was that of the British crown and legislators, so it was extremely formal. Kings speech, in contrast, was written much less formally and it's audience was a crowd of common, yet oppressed, African Americans. It was of course way more informal. King uses much more imagery and figurative language to help get his point across. Great examples of this are “the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination” and his use of the check/bank metaphor. However, Kings favorite rhetorical device is obviously that of anaphora. “One hundred years later,” “Now is the time,” “We can never be satisfied as long as,” “go back to,” “I have a dream,” and “With this faith” are all used extensively, and really help emphasize the point King is making. He also says “we” a ton to make it more personal. The main difference between the Declaration and King's speech was that Jefferson was way more political, while King was, well, personal. Jefferson talks of policy, of governments, of legislators, and the document is more accusatory. King talks of what “we” can do, and talks more of hope. Yet I believe both are equally resonant, but in different ways: The Declaration of Independence for its audacity and just argument, and King's “I Have a Dream” speech for its imagery and emotional effect.

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Ravi Shah
11/18/2012 2:43pm

I agree that these two essays are very similar in their rhetorical strategies and their content and meaning, but I think another part of it is their argument strategies. They both use logical appeal very often, and King's "I Have a Dream" speech used emotional appeal very often as well. These helped get their messages to their audience, and still sound as considerate as possible.

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Zachary GRover
11/18/2012 1:57pm

While comparing both passages I noticed key things that put these two together and apart. Both use repetition as a way of conveying their message. King uses “I have a dream” and “Let Freedom Ring. While Jefferson begins every prompt by stating “He has.” Also both use religion as a common ground to push their argument further “…Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…” (407), “Reality for all God’s children…” (412). Also the syntactical structure is rather similar both medium length with shorter paragraphs in the center. Also the tone on both essays is similar. King shows distaste for all treatment past and present much like Jefferson does when talking about the doings of the kings (409). However the evidence in the change of writing style between 1776 and 1964 is evident. The earlier form of writing displays the use of larger more formal words that make the whole piece a declaration not a speech such. Whereas In King’s speech it uses a more flowing pattern which makes it easier to listen to and understand. The change in audience is also apparent through diction, where Thomas Jefferson was writing to the King, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote to lower class citizens who may not have had the education needed to understand something like the Declaration. In my opinion both have equal resonance, but require a different audience for that to be true. In 1776 I had a Dream would not have had the same effect as it did in 1964 and vice versa.

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11/18/2012 2:20pm

The language and word choice of “The Declaration of Independence” and “I Have a Dream” are extremely similar. Both very strongly expressed through the style choice of the writers. The contents of each piece, even though they are different time periods and different forms of freedom both are informing the reader about a hopeful change. Each piece does a nice job of using different forms of syntax throughout the Declaration uses longer more formal writing and “I Have a Dream” is more short paragraphs and sentences. Personally though, I find “The Declaration of Independence” to be less powerful than “I Have a Dream”. Jefferson uses a lot of repetition during the piece and writes a powerful message, I just have a hard time connecting with the piece, whereas with Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech I can picture him saying his speech as powerfully as he wrote it. His use of repetition to me was practical. It made more of an impact on me then with the Declaration. Both writers are able to convey their messages well with the tone and style of their pieces.

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Alex Forsythe
11/18/2012 2:50pm

I concur. Even though both of them are written in different time periods they still are expressing the same ideas. The syntax was very intelligent in each piece which letter the audience/reader know that they wanted to be taken seriously.

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Alex Miller
11/18/2012 6:27pm

I agree with Marg that they use different forms of freedom that I had not realized before. Also the sentence structure true also.

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Zoey Holmstrom
11/18/2012 8:52pm

I thought the Dream speech was much more impactful too. I think it's because the diction is more relatable because it was written in the 1900's than when the declaration was written in the 1700's. The words Jefferson uses are sometimes really confusing whereas King uses much simpler word choice.

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Evan Scieszka
11/18/2012 2:29pm

Both pieces by Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. are trying to stress freedom from oppression and they use some similar tactics as well as some different tactics to do so. Tomas Jefferson’s main tactic that he used was listing. He uses “He has”(408-409) multiple times to show the massive amount of injustices caused by King George and present it to the people as a long list. In these short statements, Jefferson uses a specific syntax. He always says what King George did and then he separates it with a comma and adds an additional part onto his argument. One example is when he says, “He has dissolved Representative House repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people” (408). He additionally uses powerful diction to make King George seem like a ruthless tyrant. He says that King George has “plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people” (409). Jefferson uses this because he wants to get across how awful the crimes committed by the king are. One other thing that he does is he cites back to specific legislature passed by the British parliament that outraged the colonists. He does this to appeal to his audience and recall specific events that relate to his message. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. also tries to show his message by using anaphora and repetition. He uses it multiple times when saying “I have a dream” (413) and at the end when he continuously says “let freedom ring” (414). Unlike Tomas Jefferson, King is addressing the people more and tries to inspire them to advocate for equal rights by saying “we can never be satisfied” (413). King also uses some of the style that Jefferson uses when he lists the various acts passed by white legislators that restrict them of their rights. Other then the repetition, King uses analogy to make his speech really stand out. Probably the most famous example is when he says, “America has given the Negro people a bad check” (412). King uses this multiple times and it makes his speech very powerful and relatable. Throughout the speech, King uses a style of diction and syntax that allows him to talk to the people that he is addressing and inspire them like when he says, “You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive”(413). Overall both pieces are very resonant, but they do it in their own unique way, Tomas Jefferson lists complaints to show why his people need to be free and Martin Luther King Jr. uses repetition to speak about his hopes for the future and why his people deserve equal rights.

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Ravi Shah
11/18/2012 2:38pm

These two pieces have many similarities, and these make them both very resonant, especially with the people of that time. In terms of language, they are fairly different, they use the vernaculars of their times, and this makes the word choice and language usage very different. However, they both very similarly use rhetorical strategies and devices in their messages. The anaphora that is used is very evident in both pieces, with the "Let freedom ring..." at the end of the "I Have a Dream" speech, or his repetition of the phrase "I have a dream..." in the middle. This is used in reference to the things that should be happening in society, but are not. The "He has..." in the Declaration of Independence when referring to the wrongs that the King had committed to the colonists which is very similar in essence to Martin Luther King Jr.'s message in his speech. Another similarity rhetorically is their use of logical appeal to their audience. In the Declaration of Independence, the colonists said "Nor have we been wanting [...] unwarrantable jurisdiction over us" (line 104), they were saying how they had warned the King of his this war that was happening, and that he should have listened. In King's "I Have a Dream," speech, he says "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" (line 73), which is logically appealing to the people of our country that we should not judge based on race, but based on our morality. Both of these essays use this in a very similar way, and this creates logical appeal to the readers or listeners. The content is of course very similar, both asking for freedom from the oppressors who are confining them, Martin Luther King Jr. to the white leaders of the country, and the colonists to the King of England. This creates much similarity between the two pieces.

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Alex Forsythe
11/18/2012 2:43pm

Both The Declaration of Independence and the I Have A Dream speech try to express their beliefs of freedom. The Declaration of Independence uses a ton of anaphora to get its point across. Throughout the entire doucument it repeats the word "that". This is important because it makes it seem more important. The writer was trying to express how important his ideas truly were. The writer also uses anaphora with the word "he". The writer uses apostrophe when he is talking about he because that person really isn't there. A really moving quote was, "We hold these truths the be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". This is probably one of the most famous quotes in the document, but it is moving because it is explaining that all men are entitled to their own rights. This document is very sophisticated, and the sentence structure is long because thr author needs to get his point across. I have a dream was also writen in a very sophisticated manner. Martin Luther King Jr. was very persuasive in his speech. Martin Luther King Jr. also uses anaphora to get his point across by repeating, "I have a dream" throughout the entire piece. He also uses an allusion so that the audience can visualize what he is trying to say. Both of this documents are expressing the importance of freedom and equality.

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11/18/2012 2:53pm

I agree with everything you said! I also found the quote from the Declaration to be very moving as well.

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Alex Forsythe
11/18/2012 2:46pm

I didn't mean to push submitt yet. :(
Anyway...

Even though both of these pieces are written in different time periods, that still are very similar. The sentence structure of both of them are longer because they are trying to be persuasive.

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Leland Dunwoodie
11/18/2012 3:03pm

I agree...I like how you picked up on their similar sentencial syntax. I myself failed to do that so oops. It is amazing to see the effects of time on rhetoric; Jefferson uses "hath shewn" for crying out loud.

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Leland Dunwoodie
11/18/2012 2:59pm

"The Declaration of Independence" by Thomas Jefferson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech" have many similarities and differences. King's speech is more powerful than the "Declaration," but that is because King's speech was made to be motivational and the "Declaration" to prove a point to a monarch. Jefferson's tone is even while King's tone is uplifting. Both Jefferson and King rely on anaphora to prove their points, but King's use of metaphor makes his speech powerful. Jefferson says "He has" (408-409) and "For" (409) at the beginning of several reasons why the United States was severing its ties with Britain. King repeats "I have a dream" (413) to show what an equal society would be like and "Let freedom ring" (414) to show that equality can be nationwide to further his points as a Civil Rights leader. King uses metaphor - like when he compares the March on Washington to "cashing a check" (412) - to deliver a more impactful message to his audience. The time period of these respective pieces also has an influence on their rhetoric. For example, Jefferson says "hath shewn" (407) and capitalizes important words such as "Brethren" and "Hands" (409). This differs from King's more current rhetoric in which he uses modern diction and doesn't capitalize important words. Both pieces use a combination of ethos, pathos, and logos to further their respective messages. King uses pathos to appeal to his audience's emotion by using metaphors, such he says that blacks are "crippled by manacles of segregation" (412); King uses ethos when quotes the Declaration of Independence to prove the correctness of his stances; King uses logos when he conveys to his audience how much better America would be with equality in his "I have a dream" (413) segment. Jefferson uses ethos when he says that the Colonies are acting in accordance with the "Laws of Nature" (407); Jefferson uses logos when he lists reason after logical reason to show why the Colonies are breaking away; Jefferson uses pathos when he says that British Rule has "destroyed the lives" of the colonists. While these pieces have much rhetoric in common, their differences stem from the time periods in which they were written and the audiences which they were trying to reach.

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11/18/2012 6:26pm

I agree with Leland, but I feel like Jefferson's tone was more of an angry than an even one.... But I feel like he had the power to use his anger in more attention grabbing ways (violent), where King could only stand up and take the hits that were delt.

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That guys who plays tennis (Samir Shah)
11/18/2012 3:51pm

In both, “The Declaration Of Independence” and, “I Have a Dream” the authors use diction, tone, and audience to effectively convey their messages. The use of audience in both is very similar. In the, “Declaration of Independence,” the author makes his audience the American people. The Author effectively target the audience by referring to the king by saying the word, “He” at the start of almost every paragraph. The author also refers to, “We” in a lot of the paragraphs; this shows how the British tyranny was affecting all the people, not just the American government. In the, “I Have a Dream” speech the author also focuses his audience on the American people. In this speech, the author also refers to the audience as we, but here it is not trying to show how it affects everyone, it shows what the population can do to stop it. The tone the authors set in both is a very urgent tone. In both, they make the point that both populations have been under this tyranny for too long, and it is now time for them to end it. In the, “Declaration of Independence” the author uses phrases like, “For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world (409)” and, “For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences (409)” to show why the Americans should rebel. In the, “I Have a Dream” the author also shows that their population has been oppressed for to long by using phrases like, “But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free (411).” The Authors also use many rhetorical devices. For example, Martin Luther King uses anaphora when he says, “ But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity (412).” He also uses it when talking about the time is now, using the word, “now.” The Declaration also has many rhetorical devices. One example is an allusion, when the author references God (page 407). In both, the authors use many rhetorical strategies to strengthen their claims.

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Gunner Harrison
11/18/2012 3:59pm

Both pieces are great at conveying their message through repetition. The language is deffierent due to the difference in time, but both succeeded with their use of repetition. Martin Luther King repeated "I have a dream," an then stating his dreams. This allowed for emphasis of what he saw for our future. The Declaration repeated "He has" to list what the king was doing wrong to them. This use of lists and repetition worked for both pieces and shows similarities in how people can speak and write effectively in the same way.

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Kaitlyn Wade
11/18/2012 4:45pm

Like many today, at first I felt as if Martin Luther King's speech was so much better than the Declaration of Independence because of it's modern style, and readability. However, when I read both passages a second time reading for style specifically, I realized that The Declaration is equally as powerful as I have a Dream in terms of style. They both use a plethora of anaphora to add to their appeal to freedom. Both pieces are aiming to reach the same goal, freedom, and I think even though they are from entirely different eras, they have equal power. The Declaration has long, listy sentances that make it harder to read at times, but it actually adds a tone that shows that the king was so unfair to the colonists, and there was just so much to list. The use of "He" and "For" so many times throughout the Declaration creates an overwhelming sense that the king did so many unlawful things, which is the point. King's use of anaphora makes his appeal to the crowd. He uses "I Have a Dream" and "Let Freedom Ring" so many times that it serves as a motivator to the crowd. It builds his tone to get every person in that crowd to be on his side, and it allows other people to see the incredibly long list of things that black people werent getting and wanted that were rights all people were supposed to have. King also used the Declaration of Independence in his speech, so i think that shows how powerful the Declaration is. King wouldnt use something in his speech that wouldnt appeal to the people in a powerful way.

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Samuel David Johnson
11/18/2012 5:17pm

Yes, and I beleived that illusion toward the Delcaration was very odd the second time I read through I Have a Dream. You talked about the parralelism between the two peices but for the two to join together in that one sentance created a bridge for my mind to link the two peices together as one peice. Almost as if The Declarartion was a smaller part of I Have a Dream you have to look at under microscope to see. That made it slightly harder to compare for me, I don't know about you.

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Samuel David Johnson
11/18/2012 5:09pm

I believed The Declaration of Independence and I Have a Dream were parallel in historical situational context, not in rhetorical strategies. Both Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. wrote of liberties and freedoms that where owed them but neither delivered the same tone. Thomas Jefferson’s was very formal and legislative leaving little room for creativity or artistic integrity. Having to maintain a professional air, Jefferson would often allow his sentences to trail off for lines upon lines feeling no pressure to make it “a good read” (in the second paragraph reaching five lines long). Martin Luther’s was told in a much more lenient situation which invited creative nuances and engaging imagery; “[…] the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” The Declaration of Independence was written as an introductory paragraph, a list of political no-no’s, and a concluding paragraph which all came off as formulaic and mechanical. Although The Declaration of Independence was crucial for our country’s independence, it was no great work of literature. I Have a Dream was also heavily carried through with lists but they were well laid and provided more of an emotional charge than a summary of the topic. Between the two I believed that I Have a Dream was much more influential than Jefferson’s, but it is the difference between writing for bureaucrats and writing for human beings.

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Taylor Dale
11/18/2012 5:40pm

I agree about the tone. Both pieces have a rebelious, prideful, independent tone that add character.

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Jeff Lueders
11/18/2012 6:44pm

I like how you took into consideration who each of the authors were talking to and how that affected their writing, how Jefferson was more lethargic and how King openly used metaphors and similes. Though I may disagree on which was more powerful.

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Courtney Bennett
11/18/2012 8:08pm

I agree that "I Have a Dream" is more powerful than "The Declaration of Independence" because of the intended audience. Even though they're both written about freedom, it's hard to compare the two because they are written for very different purposes.

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Danielle Curley
11/18/2012 5:34pm

Both of the peices are very powerful and full of rhetorical strategies. "I Have a Dream" was easier to read and more modern. It had more emphasis by repeating certain phrases like "I have a dream" and "let freedom ring". King uses a lot of metaphor that also emphasize what he is saying. "The Decledation of Independence" is conducted of lengthy run on sentences. It is more challenging to read and more old fashioned. It is equally resonant. Both of the peices used repetition.

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Taylor Dale
11/18/2012 5:45pm

I agree that I have a dream was easier to read and it made it more enjoyable to read than The Declaration of Independence. The run on sentences made the Declaration of Independence hard to read and hard to catch a breathe to continue reading.

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Taylor Dale
11/18/2012 5:36pm

Both “The Declaration of Independence” and the “I Have a Dream” speech use several rhetorical strategies. They both have a prideful and rebellious tone. Which makes sense for what they were for. They both have lists that prove their points. In “The Declaration of Independence” there was a list of all the reasons why they were declaring independence. “For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our consent:…” (409). Martin Luther includes way more lists. One example is, “Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania…” (414). Both emphasize important parts with anaphora. The Declaration of Independence uses it with, “Ha has… He Has… He Has…” (408) and “For… For… For…” (409). Martin Luther uses an immeasurable amount of anaphora. Some examples are, “I have a dream… I have a dream… I have a dream…” (413) and “Let freedom ring… Let freedom ring… Let freedom ring…” (414). All in all Martin Luther’s Speech is more resonant than the Declaration of Independence. His speech was also more relatable and easier to understand, probably because it was more contemporary. Whereas The Declaration of Independence was classic. It also put more emphasis on words by capitalizing them.

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11/18/2012 6:00pm

Jefferson’s declaration and King’s speech were both unique in style. The language in the Declaration of Independence sounded a lot more sophisticated. Jefferson generally used long sentences, broken up with hyphens or several commas. Jefferson’s diction was very precise as well. He used meaningful and exact words to make his Declaration sound more sophisticated. King on the other hand used varying sentence structure, broken up with many semicolons throughout. King used a lot of description in his speech to capture the minds of the audience, such as “…the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado” or “…the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire” (414). Both articles consisted of a tone of determination; Jefferson’s declaration determined to become a new country, and King’s speech determined that day, that everybody would be equal. Both writers used a multitude of rhetorical strategies that benefited their cause. Jefferson and King used a plethora of anaphoras. Jefferson used the anaphora “He has…” throughout the entire body of his piece (409). King uses several different ones, such as “One hundred years… “and “...the Negro…” (411). Repetition is essential in every major piece, but especially in theirs. In terms of content, Jefferson described what and why the colonies were becoming independent by what the King has enforced on the colonies. Jefferson explained that the colonies wanted the opposite of everything the king was doing such as “obstructed the Administrated of Justice” and “imposing Taxes without Consent” (409). King described what he wanted through vivid description and a tone of determination. He described that “Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning”, giving people hope for the future (412). Both pieces were very interesting, and contained a great amount of rhetorical devices which brought out their language, style and content.

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Katelyn Tillstrom
11/18/2012 7:27pm

I know what you mean about the language, and how the Declaration was more "sophisticated." The time they were written in really makes a difference!

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11/18/2012 6:22pm

In these two brilliant works, both authors scream for justice in a way that the world had not seen before. They both get their message across that they will no longer allow such audacious acts of tyranny and crime to hold them back on their paths to freedom. The way they do this though is very unique and different in both. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson calls upon the acts of injustice that the British Government had done to rally the people behind the message that they deserve to be free. He lists all of the things that the King and his Court have done in a very uncensored way. His language is very clear and cannot be mistaken for anything less than pent-up rage. The list of wrong doings of the British is a full two pages. He takes an aggressive stance on these issues as well. Saying phrases like "A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of free people" Jefferson clearly attacks the Prince without hesitation. King on the other hand is completely non violent. He knows that blacks are the minority and that violence will not succeed against an armed and angry white people. He then takes the brilliant path of calling upon the nature of America. He uses the pride that people have in their country to seize the rights that they deserve. King states that his "dream" is to see America better than it was that day. He knows American's do not back away from a challenge and this is why he uses that tactic. His language differs from Jackson's not only in the modern dialect, but the humble contrasts the violent and the hopeful against the powerful. They wrote their pieces in two very different situations. Jefferson had the power of the people behind him and his defiance was a declaration of war. King did not want war and he did not have the power to seize anything. He did however have the pride of Americans to use. He made it an issue of going forward, not an issue of who was right and who needed to suffer for the wrong.

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Alex Miller
11/18/2012 6:25pm

"The Declaration of Independence" by Thomas Jefferson and "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King Jr. piece have several similarities and differences. "The Declaration of Independence" was not as easy to read compared to King's piece, Jefferson uses old world diction which is difficult to understand, "...all experience hath shewn..." (Jefferson 407). " I Have a Dream" diction was more modern and more understandable to read and comprehend compared to Jefferson's piece. Both pieces are significant in history but they are both different in rhetorical devices. " The Declaration of Independence" contains anaphora throughout the piece. Jefferson repeats "He" (408)frequently, and the "He" Jefferson is referring to is the king of England. King also uses anaphora in his piece by repeating "Let freedom ring from" (414). There are also many differences, King uses an allusion from Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" speech to provide an example of how the way people treat African Americans have not changed (411). While in Jefferson's piece he does not refer to another piece. King also uses antithesis, " Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning" (412). Aside from King using different types and more rhetorical devices, his piece was a speech while Jefferson's pieces was declaring to another nation of America's freedom. Both pieces were different but powerful in their own ways.

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Jeff Lueders
11/18/2012 6:35pm

Both Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence" and King's "I Have a Dream" use multiple rhetorical devices to show each of their points. In Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence," he uses deductive reasoning to support his argument, the repetition of the phrase "he has" (referring to the King of England) to create a clear opposing force, and the capitalization of specific words to emphasize certain words. Jefferson uses deductive reasoning throughout all of his text, but it is highlighted in his first few paragraphs where he explains "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,(Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness) it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..." (407) Jefferson's repetition is also shown throughout most of his text and it supports his argument firmly. Jefferson repeats the phrase "He has..." in paragraphs 3-15 and 16-20 and "For..." in paragraph 15 which was divided into 9 subsections. Jefferson also capitalized specific words in the "Declaration of Independence," which creates emphasis towards these words. In his final sentence he does this quite effectively saying that "...we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." which puts emphasis on Lives, Fortunes, and Honor. In contrast, King uses many similes and metaphors to convey his point and to put hope in the African American people of that time; the only thing that is similar between the two is the repetition. King uses the metaphor of America having "given the Negro people a bad check" to make America seem to be at blame for lying to the black people, that they can have equality and America just needs to give it to them (412). King also uses repetition to create emphasis to a select few words. King repeats the phrase "I have a dream..." seven times in his speech and also the phrase "Let freedom ring..." nine times, which gives emphasis to these specific words. When comparing the two readings, I find that they are not equally powerful, and that King's "I Have a Dream" speech was the weaker of the two. Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence" was more resonant because he used facts to back up his argument and his people were already inspired, where as King used comparisons and merely relied on the hope that the speech would lead to inspiration in his people. Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence" was also more moving because it applied to a much larger audience where he was addressing the world, the King, the colonies, Great Britain, and everyone else; and he did so effectively. King was only directing his message towards a select group of people being primarily the African American's and then throwing in the rest of America every now and then. Both are great writings, but the "Declaration of Independence" is the clear winner in my mind.

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Maddie Williams
11/18/2012 6:37pm

In the Declaration of Independence and I Have a Dream, language is used to create a strong tone and a powerful message, but they are both different and unique. The Declaration of Independence is sort of formatted like a billeted list, pointing out all of the things the King has done wrong. There is a lot of anaphora when it says "He has..." Which adds to the message by intensifying and emphasizing all of the Kings wrong doings. The tone is very formal and deliberate. I Have A Dream, though it is very similar in purpose to the Declaration, has a different feel. To me it seems like it conveys much more emotion an feeling, when King goes into the section here he uses anaphora with "I have a dream..." The statements that follow this phrase are attention grabbing, for example when he says "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character.", he uses this example to provide emotion connection to the people he was addressing. Both pieces were very powerful in terms of content and what their purposes were, but the tones were different: The Declaration was more formal and I Have a Dream was very possum ate and compelling.

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Mrs. Z
11/19/2012 1:21pm

possum ate?

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Jared Wendland
11/18/2012 6:47pm

After reading both pieces I felt they were equally as strong. With them sharing certain aspects and differing in others they had their strengths and weaknesses. With both pieces language is precise and sophisticated in making their point. Both appeal to the crowd with a mutual tone of strength and need to unite. The language of the time shines through in each paper. For this reason “The Declaration of Independence” was more difficult to understand but not impossible. As for style both authors were in love with repetition of phrases, and for good reason. Through the use of this repetition it strengthened their points. Whether it be Jefferson’s listing the Kings tyranny say what he has done “He has…He has…He has…” (408-9) and “For… For… For…” (409). Or whether it be King using ”negro”, “I have a dream…“, “Let freedom ring…“(411-14) to strengthen. They both left you rallied.

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Mason Freehling
11/18/2012 6:49pm

Both The Declaration of Independence and the I Have a Dream speech are some of the greatest works throughout American history. That being said, they are written to appeal to the audience quite well. The Declaration has a somewhat scholarly style that is appropriate as it is directed to the king of England. It is written clearly that the colonies are now independent and it does this by getting a bit wordy. This is understandable however, since it was written quite some time ago. Also, the words “For” and “He has” are repeated several times to emphasize the fact that the colonies are no longer in need of a tyrant. In the I Have a Dream speech, King also uses repetition with the words “The Negro.” This piece easily is relatable to the public as it focuses on the future and is easy to relate to. The tone is somewhat optimistic and this is understandable. The time periods of both the passages are what make them unique and accurate for their time.

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Austin Latack
11/18/2012 7:00pm

I totally agree. It is evident how the language is different because each has a different target audience. It would be hard for the recipients of King's speech to understand King if he spoke like a proper Englishman, and his point would not get across clearly. Same goes for "The Declarartion." The King of England wouldn't take the colonies seriously if the wrote less educated. The language really does help dictate the tone and can tell the outcome for the speech to follow. Good observation.

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Austin Latack
11/18/2012 6:55pm

I believe that "The Declaration of Independence" and "I Have A Dream" are both very resonant. In regards to language "The Declaration" uses old Eglish and archaic jargon, because it was written so long ago and from one governing body to another. It is evident when it says "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism..." Yet in King's speech, it is from one very educated man, to an entire nation, thus King speak in Layman's Terms, and his speech is teeming with rhetorical devices. "The Declaration" begins with a formal introduction, then the main body is a list of the wrongdoings the King of England has done to the colonies. This list uses many rhetorical devices such as personification, synecdoche, and anaphora, especially in the sentence "He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people." King's speech has many historical allusions which add to his argumentative speech to prove his point, such as the allusion to the "Let Freedom Ring" song and "The Declaration of Independence" when he 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." He involves the audience by referencing familiar situations and circumstances to them in a nonviolent tone, and uses, arguably, the most commonly known anaphora when he preaches "I Have a Dream." King also uses much personification such as when he says "This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice" Yet "The Declaration" is declaring separation, while "I Have A Dream" is declaring togetherness, but they are still both great examples of how rhetorical devices in writing have helped shape our nation through great minds.

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Michael Gorton
11/18/2012 8:28pm

Very well said. I completely agree with all of the differences you mentioned. Both pieces use language style to their advantage in their own way, but they both convey a powerful message. Great points!

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Mason Freehling
11/18/2012 7:00pm

:)

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Katelyn Tillstrom
11/18/2012 7:25pm

The two pieces “I Have a Dream” and “The Declaration of Independence,” although they were written at different times with different motives behind them, are still rather similar. The Declaration focuses on becoming free from the power of England, while “I Have a Dream” focuses on becoming free from discrimination. Both are an attempt to have a better life. However, the language and diction used in them differs most likely because of the time span between them. The style is also different in each one. “I Have a Dream” is written as a speech, addressing the audience constantly. It opens saying “I am happy to join you…” It also references the audience saying “We have come to this hallowed spot…” and directly telling them to “go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama…” The Declaration is clearly a document; it uses lists as a way to get its point across. Very rarely in a speech would a list as long as the one in the Declaration be used. It was a very important statement, however because of that. The content was very similar, besides the fact that why they were fighting for it was different. The both wished to be free, one from discrimination and one from tyranny. Rhetorically, the two pieces were even more similar. Both use anaphora constantly. The repetition of the phrases “I have a dream,” “now is the time,” and “we are not satisfied” in “I Have a Dream” grab the attention of the audience and motivate them. The repetition of the phrase “he has” makes it clear what the king has and has not done, and repeating it makes it seem overdone, but in this case, that’s a good thing.

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Lauren Clem
11/25/2012 7:49pm

Katelyn, I really liked how you noticed the detail of the "we's" that we're used by the authors in the different pieces. It really showed how personal the passage was based on who the audience was.

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Michael Gorton
11/18/2012 7:29pm

I have to agree with the others who are saying that both were incredibly moving. They really highlight what Freedom truely is through unparalleled word choice and language. The Declaration definitely uses a more formal, vintage style of language throughout. Sentences such as "We have appealed th their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence" just bring out the older style of word choice which is seldomly used today (409). In contrast, King uses more modern phrases like references to bad and uncashed checks to emphasize his speach (412). Despite these differences, both bring out real emotion in the reading and in the reader.

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Owen Carow
11/18/2012 8:02pm

Yeah, It was interesting seeing the difference in word choice between the two. I wonder if the Declaration would've seemed so formal 230 years ago, or if we just see it that way because that's how formal documents are written nowadays. Will this sentence seem strange to my great-great-great-grandchildren?

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Marcus Shannon
11/18/2012 7:30pm

“The Declaration of Independence” and Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech both have very familiar elements when compared to each other. The content is the same with the colonists claiming independence from the English oppressors, and then the Civil Rights movement trying to gain freedom from the oppression of racism. They each have a repetition in them stressing the key issues that they want to be resolved. King states multiple times that even “one hundred years later” African Americans are not free from persecution (411). The colonists even say “it is their right, it is their duty” to break free from Britain to gain their freedom (407). The repetition of the Declaration targets King George with hatred by “He…” followed by something that’s listed as a wrong, while King says “ I have a dream” that points to a tone of hope and cooperation (408)(413). Even though the context of each is the same there is the obvious time gap between the two famous pieces. The longer more formal words of the Declaration, like “magnanimity “ and “usurpations”, are not used as the more modern language found in King’s speech (409). The latter being easier to understand because it’s closer to our modern English language. The style of each fits for what purpose they wanted to fulfill, with the Declaration being a list of injustices from Britain’s rule and “I have a Dream” for a nations call for brotherhood. Respectively each create a list of what they want for freedom, and both do it in a very similar way. They’re equally as powerful and the situations involving freedom connect these two perfectly.

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Kelsey Berndt
11/18/2012 7:51pm

"The Declaration of Indenpendence" and the "I Have a Dream" speech are both very similar in context, seeing as how they are both about achieving freedom although different versions. "The Declaration of Independence" however uses very long sentences filled with eloquent diction. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, on the other hand, used an easier to follow sentence structure most likely because it was a speech. Jefferson and King both use a lot of repetition to emphasize their points. Jefferson repeatedly uses "He has" and also "For." King repeated the phrases "I have a dream" and "let freedom ring." I think that while "The Declaration of Independence" is more important, King's "I Have a Dream" speech is more powerful. It's more simple than the Declaration, but I think the simplisticness is effective.

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Owen Carow
11/18/2012 7:59pm

At the surface the pieces are very different, in terms of language and tone, but upon closer study there are many parallels. Both essays are written in such a way as to send their message to both its opponent and its supporters. The Declaration is aimed at the King of England, but highlights his unjust manor using words like "oppression" and "tyrant". King's speech describes how his people are "robbed of their dignity" and trapped in the "desolate valley of segregation". While the Declaration's tone is more formal and King's more emotionally charged, both are intended to rouse the emotion of the oppressed as well as the attention of the people their messages are directed at. Another similarity is in the use of repetition, mostly anaphora. The Declaration's repetition of "He has" in its list of injustices is reflected by King's repetition of his key phrases, like "100 years later", or "I have a dream". The effect of the repeated phrases is an emphasis on the ideas being repeated, either the fact that King George was mistreating his subjects or King's summary of racism in America and his dream for the future. Personally King's repetition struck me the most, as I could feel each repeated word gaining momentum like punch to the gut. The Declaration, though powerful at times, has fairly archaic language and seems to drag on. The formal style seems dry compared to King's overflowing emotion. If I was listening to either for the first time though, I'm sure I would get pretty worked up.

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Dylan Gustafson
11/18/2012 8:26pm

I liked the simile you used when describing the repitition and how it gained momentum.

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Jeremy M. Barker, The
11/18/2012 10:34pm

I don't know if I'd agree with you about one being more powerful because at the time Jefferson wrote it his style might not have seemed like it was dragging on, but you did express how it shows power well and I agree with that. I also agree the King's repeated stuff sticks more probably it is more persuasive so that was probably more intended than Jefferson's document.

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Courtney Bennett
11/18/2012 8:03pm

I found “I Have a Dream” to be a lot more resonant than “The Declaration of Independence”. The tone of “The Declaration of Independence” was rigid and straight-forward because it was an official document. Anaphora is repeatedly used to get points across in a clear and direct way. Examples of this are “He has” (408), “Such is” (408), and “For” (408-409). Long, list-like sentences are used and the the word choice is mature and sophisticated. However, in “I Have a Dream”, the tone is a lot more fiery and passionate. Sentence structure and word choice are varied. Similes and metaphors are present throughout the piece: “... Justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” (413), “'... the storms of persecution...” (413), “... the winds of brutality” (413). Martin Luther King Jr. uses anaphora as well, such as “We can never be satisfied...” (413) and “I have a dream...” (413). However, the purpose for King's repetition is to emphasize and convince instead of simply state, such as that in “The Declaration of Independence”. “I Have a Dream” utilized a colorful vocabulary, uses emotional appeal, and drives home King's point by using an abundance of strong metaphors. Both are effective in conveying their points about freedom for their intended audience, but King's is more powerful because his purpose was to persuade America instead of stating a formal declaration.

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David Tarnowski
11/18/2012 8:10pm

I agree with you Courtney. I think that in a sense "I Have a Dream" is a bit more powerful. I think that this is because he appeals more strongly to the emotions than the Declaration. This makes it more relateable, hence you get a better response.

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David Tarnowski
11/18/2012 8:07pm

Both the Declaration of Independance and Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech have unique characteristics, yet at the same time they both have a few key things between them that are similar.The two things are different in the sense that they are from different times and that they on the surface address two completely different issues. The Declaration states that we are being denied our "unalienable rights" and that the United States wants to break away from the power of King George. Most of the Declaration simply puts forth the grievances of the colonies. The use of apostrophe is abundant in this piece. For majority of the text they simply address King George as "he" (www.ushistory.org). This is appropriate because a lot of the people of that time knew exactly who "he" was. It also gives a greater feeling of breaking off because they refuse to even address him by his name. This piece of text is very effective in making its argument because it addresses something that the people want expressed. They are not happy and they virtually put anything that they could complain about down into the Declaration. King's speech was interesting in its own way. He also argues for "certain unalienable rights", but these are for blacks, not for the entire nation. There was a ton of repetion for effect in his speech. He uses "one hundred years later..." and "We cannot be satisfied..." and "I have a dream..." and "with this faith..." (www.innovativeclassroom.com) These serve to stress some of the main points that King wants to make. He also uses the metaphor of the check. This is significant because he uses something that everyone can understand, like cashing a check and using it to portray a much deeper idea. King also uses a lot of allusion. He refers to the Declaration and the Bible. These are also well known documents or sources of literature that most everyone has read. In his speech he is effective in his argument because he appeals to peoples want for liberty. His argument is mainly ethos while the Declaration is much more leaning towards lothos. It was really cool to see that King included parts of the Declaration in his speech. This goes to show the closeness between the two texts. Like mentioned previously they were both incredibly successful in their arguments. They both aimed to different audiences, but they both resonated the same message. Liberty and equality for all!

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Dylan Gustafson
11/18/2012 8:24pm

The pieces, "The Declaration of Independence," and "I Have a Dream" are similar in a variety of ways. First of all, they go and push the same message of freedom. Freedom for the American colonists and the African-Americans. In terms of language, "The Declaration of Independence" uses old English to describe the situation with Britain, and "I Have a Dream" is more modern, and more understandable to the reader. But the language portrays the same message for each piece, that of freedom. Also, both pices contain a large amount of repitition and rhetorical devices such as anaphora. In "The Decalration of Independence," Jefferson starts most each paragraph with "He." "He" is of course referring to Great Britain and all of the terrible things that they did. In "I Have a Dream," King says " I have a dream" and "Let freedom ring" (pgs. 413 and 414) mostly in order to get his point across on how African-Americans and Whites need to take action in ending racial segregation. "Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania" (414). In terms of tone, "I Have a Dream" is more motivating and uniting, when King calls on people of all races to help end segregation (412). "The Decalration of Independence" is more powerful and enforcing, with Jefferson saying how the Colonies need to break away and become indpendent no matter what. The two pieces are resonant because of their use of repitition and anaphora. It helps get the point across.

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Richard Harris
11/18/2012 8:25pm

I'm reading these two pieces online so I can't cite pages.

Both the Declaration of Independence and I Have a Dream have strong language to deliver their messages. In the Declaration of Independence, "He has..." and "For..." are repeated numerous times throughout. The repetition acts like a list with all of the wrongdoings the King committed against the colonists. Combined with, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," is shows how the colonists want to be free from the King's tyranny. In Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, he repeats "One hundred years later..." several times. I think that Martin Luther King's repetition of "Let freedom ring..." and "I have a dream..." bring out more emotion than anything in the Declaration of Independence. Regardless of that, both pieces are very powerful in their specific purposes.

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Kasey S
11/18/2012 8:30pm

In both the " Declaration of Independence" and the "I Have a Dream" speech there is an air of rebellion. Throughout both peices anaphora's are used multiple times. In the " Declaration of Independence" Jefferson states the colonies frustrations with the King through several statements of " he has..." (408). In his "I Have a Dream" speech Martin Luther King Jr. repeats several phrases one of them being "One hundred years later..." (411). Which shows the frustration about segregation. Though the "Declaration of Independence" is writen in an older style the peices are equally resonant.

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Kathleen Janeschek
11/18/2012 9:16pm

Both of these texts utilize heavy repetition and lists. However, there are several notable differences in them, primarily revolving around tone and language, and caused by differences in audience. The Declaration is addressing the King of England and is written with that in mind. They use formal words such as "correspondence" and "usurpation," in order to show that they have authority and capability to separate from Mother England. Their sentences tend to be lengthy, for they speak to show that they are not simpletons. All of this is to impress the men of Parliament, so that they may maintain respect. King's speech is not like this. He is not talking to the powerful men, nor kings, nor royalty; he is talking to the almighty people. So he does not stick his words into powdered wigs and glosses their lips with lipstick, instead, he lets them stand as they are: simple, but honest. By doing this, he retains all the power, with none of the frills. Each of these methods work because while these pieces of rhetoric are trying to give freedom to their people, they are still speaking to very different groups.

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Zoey Holmstrom
11/18/2012 9:16pm

Despite the dates when each of these powerful pieces of writing were constructed, they share many similarities. For starters, both of the authors were trying to convey an argument in their essays. While both talked about different topics, the underlying message in both was about hope for new freedoms that had not been spoken of in positive ways in earlier times throughout American history. The ideas in both go against the norm in the society during the writing process. One strategy both authors used was repetition. In “The Declaration of Independence”, Jefferson begins to repeat “He has” over and over again starting on page 408 and even spills onto page 409. In King’s speech, he repeats “one hundred years” multiple times on page 411. Both authors use repetition to further emphasize the point they are trying to get across. The sentence structure is also similar in both pieces. The sentences are by no means short in either piece. Jefferson uses much more complex words than King does, but they both use language that was relevant to the time that they wrote their essays in. The authors use words to show that the audience they are speaking to is united and can relate to the author themselves. Jefferson says multiple times that the king is ruining “our” lives and that “We” are suffering on pages 408 and 409. King also uses “our” and “we” in his essay to show that he and the audience have the same effects from this problem. The style of writing is also very similar. Both authors use the showing vs. telling strategy. Jefferson uses this method to talk about the king without directly saying who he is talking about on page 408. Also, King uses this to mention Abraham Lincoln without using his name on page 411.

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Jordon Young
11/18/2012 9:30pm

I have read "The Declaration of Independence," and King's, "I Have A Dream," speech in previous classes, but I have never felt such a connection to them until now. I'll start off by saying they are both generally about the same thing: both parties are in search of freedom for themselves and their peers. But, the differences lie in the way they convey their message––a side effect of their perspective audiences. Our Founding Fathers mainly use logos to justify their breakup with the King of Great Brittan, and King mainly uses pathos to inspire and empower Americans in the name of freedom.
In "The Declaration of Independence," the syntax is lengthy, the diction is deathly formal, and the anaphora is aplenty. Sure there are little snippets of symploce here and there("[...]it is their right, it is their duty"), but that's not the main feature! The second half of The Declaration is all about the anaphora and the logos. Instead of saying, "He did this, and this, and this," the Founding Fathers more actively accuse The British Crown by saying, "He did this. He did that. He this." As break up letters go, I would say that this is how one should do it. The Declaration is one of the classiest, after all. Its writers presented the evidence for divorce and let logic do the rest––absent of pathos, which King was a huge fan of.
Logically speaking, if a group of people is superior to another, the superior group would want to stay on top. It's not fair, but if one were on top, it only makes sense that they would want to stay there. King knew this, so he used his two buddies, pathos and metaphor, to help him out. I love how he makes an allusion to the "Gettysburg Address" in the opening of his, "I Have A Dream" speech, and later to The Declaration. King uses anaphora, as well as epistrophy, and symploce a great deal of times as he repeats phrases such as: "One hundred years later," "I have a dream," and "Let freedom ring." King's success, and why this piece resonates more to me, is because he opted to show vs. tell; to inspire his audience instead of present facts on a platter. I love all of his metaphors of temperatures, seasons, and the "Bank of Justice." That is the chief reason why I prefer the "I Have A Dream" speech to "The Declaration of Independence. He made it personal. He made the connection. He used pathos AND anaphora.

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Jeremy M. Barker
11/18/2012 10:28pm

Both Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. use some similar tactics in their writings. First of all, They both use a ton of repetition with things like anaphora. For Jefferson, some examples were with the "He has," and also the "For" (insert verb here) on pages 408 and 409. For King, examples were "one hundred years later," or the "I have a dream," and also "Let freedom ring" on pages 412, 413, and 414. Another things was that both use capitalized nouns in order to emphasize the specific idea they're trying to explain. For Jefferson, he had used a variety of words such as "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness," or the words sprinkled through the paper like "Government," to explain what was right for people (407). For King, he repeats "Negro" throughout his speech to explain what he thinks of the black population. Other syntax structure things that compare are when Jefferson divides his process of creating the proper form of government with an aysndeton in his last paragraph on pages 409 and 410. King does the same thing when he is explaining the details in his dream on page 413. With the message for each, they both concentrate on the rights for individuals only with Jefferson he seeks equality for all men by breaking away from the British government, and with King equality for all men by breaking away from discrimination. Another very strong point is that they use biblical or religious views to support their argument. They even use some of the exact same concepts such as all men are created equal, or being God's people or children. Despite these being similar, there are specific differences. With Jefferson, his description is very concentrated on listing properties on how he views a government. His focus is on the ideas more than anything, but with King, he is very vivid. King, especially with the dream on pages 413 and 414 when he is describing the environment and actions with rhetorical devices of their own. Another thing to consider is that Jefferson was writing to the King of Britain to claim freedom, while King is speaking to a group of people. This makes Jefferson seem more like he is arguing his point while King seems more persuasive. Also, the language that Jefferson uses is older and slightly different when he uses words like "hath shew" (407) compared to Kings language which is much more similar to modern American English.

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Jerred Zielke
11/19/2012 3:13am

“The Declaration of Independence” and the “I Have a Dream” speech are very similar when it comes to language, but the two pieces have different purposes. In “The Declaration of Independence,” Thomas Jefferson basically lists all of the horrible things that the King has done to the colonies. He repeatedly uses the words “He has” and “For.” In this piece, Jefferson is stating why the colonies are going to war on Great Britain. In the “I Have a Dream” speech, King is pleading with America to change how people act towards black people. He uses a very powerful analogy comparing black equality to a bad check. He also repeats the phrase “I Have a Dream” a lot. Both pieces are very strong and I have never looked at them this way before.

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Evan Kiel
11/19/2012 3:34am

I think that his analogy was very powerful too and it seems that many politicians agree because it has been used repeatedly, as reference to what they have received and the power they have

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Justin Marutz
11/19/2012 4:07am

Yeah I agree with Evan, I think that though repetition can be annoying it definitely can be a powerful tool in writing especially if you are trying to prove a point or change someones mind.

Evan Kiel
11/19/2012 3:28am

Both "I have a dream" and "The Declaration of Independence" are appeals for freedom from the oppressors. The Declaration is more direct, using he in terms of the king. which it definitely could be because it was sent directly to him. Where as "I have a dream" was speaking to encourage the people that were listening to keep fighting and persevering. Despite this King and Jefferson used very similar methods to get their method across. Most apparent was the anaphora, in The Declaration, it was 'he' and 'for' at the beginning of lines to direct their complaints at the king not the people, it was trying to show how the king was a tyrant and not fit to rule over them. While in "I have a dream" the repetition of "I have a dream" and "let freedom ring" encourage all that listen to go forward to continue to seek out a better future for themselves and keep fighting the oppression. Another thing that both examples did was band a group together, in King's speech he referred to the oppressed as 'we' that puts him in with and increases the connection felt toward what he is saying. The declaration on the other had uses 'our' to refer to the colonies and show that they are ready to fight together against tyranny. There are a few differences in the readings because of why and when they were written. The declaration uses old English while "I have a dream" is more modern is its diction and syntax. Also, the declaration is very list like because they were trying to prove that they had just cause to separate, and they go on and on with reasons.

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Justin Marutz
11/19/2012 4:05am

These pieces, “The Declaration of Independence” and MLK Junior’s “I Have a Dream” speech are very powerful and moving though it’s evident one is more powerful than the other. “The Declaration” uses lengthy sentences, repetition, and uses this to bare a burden upon the reader, the King. With the use of for and he Jefferson lists off all the king has done wrong to his people for example, “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people (p410). The piece has an old English sound to it mixed with a hint of independence thrown in the mix. It was addressed as a letter though it is more of a statement, though without a war it wouldn’t have meant anything.
In MLK’s speech “I Have a Dream”, this is definitely the more impactful of the two. The constant use of analogies in King’s Speech comparing many common things to freedom helps grab the attention of average people (p411). The speech relates more to the individual rather than a broader audience, which was the goal I believe. Repetition is quite frequent as well, with “I Have a Dream and Let Freedom Ring” (p412). Defiantly very close to today’s language, with some things thrown in from the civil war and some of his experiences. He brings up the fact that Negroes are still not free and ties it in with a spiritual at the end, incorporating parallelism. Making the most impactful of the two very moving speeches “ I Had a Dream”.

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Lauren Clem
11/25/2012 7:46pm

"The Declaration of Independence" and "I Have a Dream" are two pieces that have a lot of similar styles in writing that allow the audience to really receive the message. Anaphora is one rhetorical device that is found numerous times in both passages. In the Declaration, the author, Jefferson, refers to "he" as the King from Britain, and repeats "he has" multiple times to show his audience all of the cruel actions that the King has done to them. In King's speech, the well known "I have a dream" line is not only proudly said, but repeated many times throughout the speech. By doing so, the powerful vision can be sent to the audience with a greater desire. As far as language and general content, both will obviously differ because of time period and the main message that is wanted to be displayed. The Declaration's diction is more old fashioned because of the time that it was written, but that does not make it any less formal because of who the main readers were. By trying to prove the need for freedom, a mature, yet persuasive tone must have been set. The Speech is similar because of the fact that there is desire in a change in lifestyle, but the audience and way of presenting the information to them varies. The everyday person was listening to the powerful speech, so a simpler tone with a more modern diction was appropriate. I believe that both were equally resonant in their own way because of the unique way that each was distinctly written.

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