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"When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, back men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable rights" of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
Declaration of Independence
"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."
"But one hundred 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."
Ethos (meaning moral character), is a rhetorical device used to persuade the audience that certain people are morally good. The Constitution and Declaration of independence are illusions towards our founding fathers who believed that every American had the right to unalienable rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. By showing that America's founding fathers believed in equality, it portrayed them as ethically sound and morally good people.
Pathos (meaning emotion), is a rhetorical device used to make the audience stop thinking and start feeling. By mentioning children, King gets the audience to think not only about his children but their own children, people whom everyone wants the best for. The audience feels a sense of determination and urgency to make the world a more equal place for their kids.
Logos (meaning logic) is a rhetorical device with a clear and concise claim on why the audience should logically agree. By repeating the phrase one hundred years later, King reinforces the idea that one hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Negros are still not free. They are still crippled by discrimination and segregation. This motivates the audience to think about their situation and WHY they are not free (logically, the should have complete freedom by now).
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