I’Ve Been to the Mountaintop Analysis
Through the speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”, Martin Luther King Jr. wants to give hope to the audience. It is very important to notice the style, imagery and structure he uses throughout the speech in particular the way he ends his speech, by leaving the audience at the climax.
The first paragraph of this passage, consists of two long and complex sentences. These two sentences are very biblical. “[… ] view of the whole human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me [… ]”. This line is notable because he uses the word “Almighty”, instead of the word God.
By using this, the religious audience sees this point differently. Almighty sounds to them as God would be in an even higher position, which makes it more significant. In line 3 and 4 there is direct speech from God to Martin Luther King where God asks him “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in? ”. This dramatizes the situation, because the audience imagines how God is actually talking to Martin Luther King. The image of God in this text passage is particularly significant because no one has a picture about God, however everyone knows that God is Almighty and each individual has a different picture of God.
Because the audience consists of mainly religious people the use of religious terms is important. In the second paragraph of this passages the audience sees another view of God, where God is as a person working. Having explored how the author has presented his biblical language it is now important to consider the use of his tone, in particular how some words are being sung more. For example in line 5, “dark dungeons”. This is an alliteration but also the sound of it creates a singing impression.
The repetition in line 17 “[…] favorite, favorite formula […]”, is important, because that makes this line more enthusiastic and lets the audience get a deeper understanding. However in the third paragraph an everyday language style is being used. Next, I will go into the imagery part of this passage. What makes this part of the text in particular rewarding to analyze is the way Martin Luther King presents God to the audience. He shows that God is similar to everyone. This is clearly shown in line 12 to line 13, where he says “And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding. . Here he also shows, that God does not use his almighty powers, instead he shows him as working like every other person. The image of the “promised land” (line 6 and line 33) is particularly significant to the audience, because everyone imagines the promised land different. Most in the audience think of a place which is similar to paradise. In this place there would be no war, no hate in general it would be a peaceful place. In a way Martin Luther King is representing himself as Moses, and his mission is to bring the audience to the promised land.
Additionally he uses words, which where used during the time of Moses, such as “the promised land”. He also states, that he hast been to the mountaintop, and that he has “looked over” (line 32) and he has “seen the promised land” (line 32). However, Moses died the day after this happened, so in a way this fore shadows, the death of Martin Luther King Jr. , because he actually was assassinated the day after this speech. The structure of this speech consists of the background, the present and the qlimax, where the speech then stops.
In the first two paragraphs, Martin Luther King starts of by going back into history, where God would ask him in “which age would you like to live in? ”. Then Martin Luther King goes through many historical known places, and always repeats the phrase saying “I wouldn’t stop there […]”. With this repetition the audience sees where he is trying to go, and what he is trying to avoid to get to that point of history where he wants to live. He decides to live in the twentieth century, because this century is very important. It is important because after he says, “Now thats a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up.
The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. ” (line 9 to line 11). In a way he is also trying to say, he decided to live in this time, to help the nation get their hope back, and make them handle the world again. Toward the middle, he is speaking with more hope, in a lighter but louder voice. The text also becomes more positive, for the people to get their hope back. The end of the speech is a very important part, because he leaves the audience at the qlimax of his speech. He finishes by saying “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord” (line 34) and then he leave the podium.
The audience then applauses, where every individual seems to be convinced of his speech. In conclusion the text is very well setup, where the structure, the style and the imagery work together in a way to create an atmosphere, where it seemed that at the start of the speech everything still had a bad impact, however towards the end of the speech it turned out to be good again. In my personal opinion I think that Martin Luther King, gave the audience back their hope, in order to take non-violent action and maintain unity again. 939 words.