MARTIN LUTHER KING ’S “ I HAVE A DREAM ” SPEECH

READING COMPREHENSION

GENERAL COMPREHENSION

a- Summary  Using the words “equal” (line 7), “freedom” and “justice” (line 13) sum up Martin
dream.

Luther King’s

b- Structure of the text  The text can be divided into two parts. Complete with the
appropriate number line.
Part one up to line ….. : In his dream of America, Martin Luther King denounces the conditions of the black
people in the U.S
in the past and at the time of his speech.
From line ....... to the end : In this second part he has optimism for their future.


DETAILED COMPREHENSION

PART 1 – the past and the present conditions of the Blacks

a) Tick the correct answers.
1.The title alludes (fait allusion) to

the American Dream.

a personal dream Martin Luther King had. 

Justify by quoting from the text
................................................................................................................................................
2. Line 7 is an extract from the American Constitution. 
American Declaration of Independence. 
b) Quote the line where the past slavery in America is being alluded to.
.............................................................................................................................................................
Justify with one adjective taken from that line  .......................................................................................
c) Explain the situation in Mississippi as described in the text. 
. ............................................................................................................................................................
. ............................................................................................................................................................
d) George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, refused to obey the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which
was voted by the Federal Government. Quote the passage indicating Martin Luther King’s
indignation.
.............................................................................................................................................................
e) Indicate the names of the states mentioned so far on the map at the end of the written
comprehension.

PART 2 – the future

a) What is the key word in this part?  …………………………….
b) What is the key word from lines 24 to 28 showing that King’s optimism is based on his religious
beliefs
.............................................................................................................................................................
c) Why are King’s images taken from the Bible or from nature?
.............................................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................................
d) Give the names of the religions alluded to line 48. Why are they all mentioned?
.............................................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................................
e) Tick the correct answer and justify each time with an example from the text.
1. King wants to give his religious conviction to the whole American people. Yes  No 
2. He becomes a kind of new prophet preaching from the top of a mountain. Yes  No
3. He wants to be heard by the whole human race. Yes  No 
f) Why does he quote an old Negro spiritual?
.............................................................................................................................................................
g) Put the names of the states mentioned by Martin Luther King on the map.

Task : 

Symbolism and imagery

a) Complete the following table with examples from part one and two; choose only some
examples.
Use of repetitions
of sentences

Use of synonyms

Use of parallel
constructions

Oppositions
and antonyms

Images from the
Bible or from
nature

Metaphors
(2 examples)

b) Explain why Martin Luther King’s style is effective (efficace). (60 words)

Match each value with its definition:
A mental picture of the future

brotherhood

The condition of being free
The feeling of expectation and desire
The feeling that men should treat one another like brothers
The quality of being right and fair
justice
Trust, unquestioning confidence

dream
faith
freedom
hope

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