The Power of Distinctive Voices: Reflections on Eight Memorable Speeches

Throughout time speeches have allowed the ideas and the voices of people to be heard. It has allowed action to have started and awareness for others. Through a speech an underlying message is present and the distinctive voice allows this message to be heard. In this assignment I have talked about eight speeches and the way their distinctive voice reflected their ideas about various issues.

Martin Luther King 'I have a dream'

"I have a dream" are the famous words stated by Martin Luther King Jr.

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on August 28th, 1963 in civil rights movement speech. Although King expressed his feelings on that in 1963, his ideas directly reflect his life previous to the speech. Throughout his life, King devoted so much time to the civil rights movement due to his many limits by segregation laws as he was growing up, in addition to the many influences of both people and his religion throughout his life. As a result of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dedication, the blacks were given equality throughout the United States, and people were more encouraged to pursue their goals due to his great success.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s distinctive voice allows the audience to feel empowered to do something about inequality. His message is based upon his experiences and the sense of truthfulness runs through the entire speech. Due to his witnessing of harsh racial discrimination he became passionate to achieve his goal, and achieve it peacefully. Because of King's work life became better for all people who heard his triumph.

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Overall his distinctive voice allows a connection with him and the suffering people as King truly was an amazing hero, expressing his complete feelings in the summer of 1963 with his famous words "I have a dream."

Severn Cullis-Suzuki - Address to the Plenary Session, Earth Summit

The speech by Severn Suzuki to me was very impactual as it addressed the environmental issues that were/are present in 1992. Although we have changed our ways many of the environmental factors eg. "and now we here of animals and plants going extinct" are still happening today.

Severn Suzuki's distinctive voice allows the audience to feel as though we have gone too far and the environment and it can't take it anymore. Using a child to tell the speech shows that it's not just effecting the adults in the world its effecting children and others. If we don't stop doing these acts now the future will be very bleak for the future generations. Overall her distinctive voice allows the audience to become aware of what is happening in society and the effects of abusing the environment.

John F Kennedy - Inaugural Address

"We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning signifying renewal, as well as change." In this speech JFK uses many features of political language to present his message. His aim to persuade voters is clear in the speech.

John F Kennedy's distinctive voice allows the audience to become rapt in his speech. We are able to hear his passion about "human poverty" and "revolutionary beliefs" through his speech. Being president I believe that his distinctive voice allows him to address the public with his ideas of what should America be like. Overall his distinctive voice allows a connection with him and the fellow Americans. The audience can connect with what he is saying and therefore put their trust in him.

Jessie Street - 'is it back to the kitchen'

Jessie Street was a main figure in Australian political history as she committed to fight for women's struggle in England and to remove Australia's constitutional discrimination against Aboriginal people in 1967. She is recognized in Australia and around the world for her fight in women's rights, social justice and peace.

Jessie Street's distinctive voice allows the audience to feel concerned for the discriminated groups that she fought for. We feel empowered to do something about inequality for both women and aboriginal people and aim to help those in need. to become part of a group to help those who are out-casted by society and therefore create a more equal community.

Eulogy to Princess Diana by Earl Charles Spencer

Earl Charles Spencer's speech presented the audience with the idea of grief. Through the speech he talked highly of his sister through many times and how she will be missed dearly. "a symbol of selfless humanity."

Earl Charles Spencer's distinctive voice allow the audience to feel grief and sorrow for the family but also are able to feel great full for all the things that she gave to people and humanity throughout her life. We are positioned to feel awe in her greatness and sadness due to her departure. Overall his distinctive voice allows an in-depth study of her life and contributions while informing the audience that allow she will be missed greatly we will be able to think of her with fond memories.

Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India

Indira Gandhi fought hard for the reduction of poverty and the increase in India's standard of living. This was clear in her speeches and the way she addressed the public. Throughout her life she fought hard for the reduction of poverty through speeches such as the "green revolution" until her death in 1984.

Indira Gandhi's distinctive voice, although creating a fair bit of controversy allowed the Indian public to be heard due to the poor levels of living. Through her speeches she enabled change to occur helping those in need. Overall her distinctive voice allowed the audience to become aware of the extreme levels of poverty and therefore she created action with her underlying messages through her distinctive voice.

399 BC:'Apology of Socrates - Plato

Plato's The Apology is an account of the speech Socrates makes at the trial in which he is charged with not recognizing the gods recognized by the state, inventing new deities, and corrupting the youth of Athens.

Plato's distinctive voice allows the audience to feel as though Socrates has done the wrong thing. We are able to feel that he is sorry for worshipping fake gods although this is what he believes is right. Overall his distinctive voice allows an understanding into the thinking of Socrates at the time of worshipping the fake gods. We can see that this distinctive voice positions the reader to feel empathy for Socrates and therefore respond to the authors ideas that are present.

Barack Obama speech a more perfect union

In Barack Obama's speech the ideas of equal citizenship and freedom are expressed. Similar to the speech by Martin Luther King Jnr. Obama's ideals are present through his speech. He draws on his past experiences of his life and how he feels that America is the only place where an African American could become a country's leader. "In no other country on Earth is my story even possible".

Barack Obama's distinctive voice allows the audience to connect to his story of overcoming white prejudice and becoming a beacon of light that represents that anybody no matter what color, ethnicity or cultural background can become an influential member in society. Overall his distinctive voice allows an understanding and connection to those who feel separated from society and therefore a link to a "more perfect union"

In conclusion meaning is shaped due to the understanding and knowledge of distinctive voice and the way certain aspects of the text are highlighted. Therefore the beliefs of the author are reflected through their speech which helps the audience to feel connected with the author and the speech's ideas. Overall the each of the above speeches allows an in-depth analysis of the author and what they deem as worth fighting for.

Updated: Mar 22, 2023
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The Power of Distinctive Voices: Reflections on Eight Memorable Speeches. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

The Power of Distinctive Voices: Reflections on Eight Memorable Speeches essay
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