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Rhetorical Criticism of Two Famous Speeches

History is made up of significant events which shape our future, and outstanding leaders who influence our destiny. Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy contributed to our history and ultimately, our destiny, in many ways. The events which took place in and around Martin Luther King’s life were earth shattering, for they represented an America which was hostile and quite different from America as we see it today. Black Americans needed a Martin Luther King, but above all, America needed him. On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in front of over 250,000 people, Martin Luther King gave an inspirational speech regarding freedom and liberty. His charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, black and white, all over the world to rethink their views of segregation and discrimination. In his speech he says “Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all God’s children.” He states that we as Americans must “…not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” I think this can not only be compared to the previous segregation of the 1960’s, but also now, as not only African Americans, but people of the Muslim religion and others are still being discriminated against. John F. Kennedy also spoke of freedom in his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961 in Washington D.C. He explains, “We observe not a victory of a party, but a celebration of freedom.” Kennedy addressed many different topics, but always came back to the idea of liberty. In his address, President Kennedy declared that "a new generation of Americans" had taken over leadership of the country. He said Americans would "... pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." He told Americans: "Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country...

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Rhetorical Criticism of Two Famous Speeches. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 14:32, October 23, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/8252.html