I Have a Dream Summary Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Write down a summary of I Have A Dream.
It is a very painful fact of the modem age that racial discrimination continued for a very long time — the whites in America denied the Negroes their citizenship rights and they tortured and persecuted them latter’without a feeling of guilt. The Americans forgot that Abraham Lincoln, their great president, more than a hundred years ago signed the Emancipation proclamation and promised to bring the Negroes on par with the Americans.

Martin Luther king, the great Negro leader, in this speech, sums up the actual conditions of poverty, discrimination and torture which the Negroes suffered in his time and exhorts them to wage a struggle against this injustice.

He reminds Americans of the big noble gesture shown by Lincoln and asks them to honour his commitment. He tells them that their belief inequality will remain a hollow slogan if they continued their policy of segregation.

To the Negroes Martin Luther king makes a fervent appeal to remain patient and unyielding in the face of violence and persecution. He tells them that this – was the beginning of a great movement that will stop only when the Negroes are given citizenship rights. He is aware of their suffering, but he believes that this suffering has powers of redemption.

Observing the presence of some Americans in the meeting he says that this is symbolic of goodwill that exists between the two communities. Although Martin Luther king believes in the Negro cause he does not believe that all Americans are enemies of Negro freedom. He tells his audience that one day the American nation will rise up and follow its creed of equality in true sense.

The tone of the speech is highly optimistic. Being a churchman king’s speech has the strength of conviction. His language has a biblical eloquence, his ideas have a religious basis. He feces the tragic facts of racial discrimination quite boldly and suggests that the ultimate solution will not be merely political, it will in feet come from spiritual understanding and deliver the Negroes from the darkness.

Question 2.
What would be fatal for the nation? Why? Explain.
Martin Luther King belonged to the mainstream of the Negro movement and he knew that it had gathered such force that the Americans would be wrong if they deferred the granting of citizenship rights to Negroes. By 1963 there was a worldwide sympathy for the Negro cause-The Negroes themselves stood united and determined. Undeterred by torture and violence they were opposing the Americans with great dignity and discipline. Barring a few incidents of violence on both sides the Negroes remained peaceful and non-violent. This non-violence gave them the power of endurance and also great determination. On sensing, this very mood of the Negroes Martin Luther King asserts that it would be fatal to overlook the urgency of the moment.

Question 3.
What does Martin Luther King urge his people to do? How Should it be conducted?
Martin Luther King believed in the power of non-violence. He, therefore, asks the Negroes to follow always the path of non-violence. He asks them to be patient and courageous in the face of violence. He asks them to cultivate the power of the soul to meet physical violence. And he also assures them that there is tremendous goodwill in the Americans as a whole: a small minority of the American population may entertain racial prejudices but majority of the Americans were in favour of justice and equality.

Question 4.
What was Martin Luther King’s dream? Elaborate.
Martin Luther king believed in the ultimate reconciliation between the Americans and the Negroes. It is this idea of reconciliation that he expresses by reiterating his dream in various details. He had the dream of the American nation rising up and following its creed of equality in the true sense. He also had the vision of complete fraternity -he believed that a day will come when the colour of skin will not matter; a person will instead be judged by his character.

Another vision of his was that in Albania where there was presently much hostility the situation will be reversed and the Americans and the Negroes will walk one day on its street as brothers and sisters. And, finally, his vision was that the glory of God will be revealed to all the people, which will bring a complete cessation of all miseries.

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