In Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have a Dream”, he uses many metaphors. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God” (dictionary.reference.com). By using metaphors Dr. King was more able to relate and express to his audience the magnitude of what he was speaking about.
Though not a metaphor we can argue that Dr. King’s speech “I Have a Dream” is a metaphor within itself. Dr. King uses the word “dream” to conjure up the idea of a subconscious reality, where anything is possible. He next describes the Emancipation Proclamation as a “great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came was a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.” (Dr. Martin Luther King pg. 45-46) The metaphor’s that he uses are “a beacon light of hope”, “flames of withering injustice”, “Joyous daybreak” and “night of their captivity.” These are very powerful metaphors that must have brought much cheering from Dr. King’s audience.
Though they are now free of bondage, Dr. King draws his audience to the fact that the Negro’s are still not “free”. Instead of being enslaved by human masters, Dr. King says that, “the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.” (Dr. Martin Luther King pg. 46)
One of the most powerful metaphors that Dr. King uses in his speech is that of the “Bank of Justice.” He describes the Negro people as “coming to the nations capital to cash a check” that under the Declaration of Independence all men, regardless of color, are created equal. Now, he says, America has defaulted on that check and instead of giving equality to everyone, equality is only given to those who are white. The bank, which symbolizes opportunity and the ability to grow, has let them down. But Dr. King says that “we refuse...