Journal of Linguistics and Literature
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Journal of Linguistics and Literature. 2020, 4(1), 1-14
DOI: 10.12691/jll-4-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Critical Discourse Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech I Have a Dream and Malcom X’s Speech A Message to the Grassroots

Ibtesam Abdul Aziz Bajri1, and Eelaf Othman1

1Department of English Language, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Pub. Date: November 05, 2019

Cite this paper:
Ibtesam Abdul Aziz Bajri and Eelaf Othman. Critical Discourse Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech I Have a Dream and Malcom X’s Speech A Message to the Grassroots. Journal of Linguistics and Literature. 2020; 4(1):1-14. doi: 10.12691/jll-4-1-1

Abstract

This is a linguistic study which is grounded in the domain of critical discourse analysis. CDA is a kind of analysis that examines social and political discourse. It is concerned with the way power is exercised through language and the effect that kind of power can have on its intended audience. In the year 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. called for unity and integration in his speech I Have a Dream. In the same year, Malcolm X called instead for a revolution and segregation in his speech A Message to the Grassroots. In its examination of these two speeches, the study applies the 3D model of Fairclough [1] which is comprised of the following dimensions: text, discursive practice and social practice. By analyzing these three dimensions, the study aims to deconstruct both speeches in order to uncover and compare the linguistic tools that have been employed by the two speakers. The study finds that Fairclough’s model helps in deconstructing both speeches and in exposing the linguistic tools that are used. The study also finds out that the speakers use language in distinct ways in their attempts to influence and gain power over their respective audiences.

Keywords:
Critical discourse analysis (CDA) 3D Model Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X; equality and power

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