Last updated: February 15, 2019
Topic: SocietyHistory
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Comparing and Contrasting Two Speeches



* motivational speech                                          * speech for liberation of

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for the freedom and                  * everyone will work    the animals in the Farm

equal rights of the Blacks             together for freedom         * advocate use of violence

* not in favor of violence             * all subjects face injustice     * dissuades cooperation of

* promotes cooperation of          * both speeches used a song      animals and humans

the Whites and the Blacks           * both speeches made by        * Dream – literal meaning

* Dream – an ideal, a vision       prominent leaders

* tackles slavery






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Comparing and Contrasting Two Speeches

Speeches that are delivered into a wide, diverse public are very powerful if they are well-written and meaningfully delivered because they have the ability to influence opinions, motivate people to act, instill beliefs, and promote advocacies. I Have A Dream is one of the most influential and famous rhetorical speeches in American history. The speech was written and delivered by Martin Luther King Jr.,  and it serves as one of the best demonstration of freedom by the Black Americans. Old Major’s speech in the first chapter of George Orwell’s Animal Farm  is a very critical part of the story because it signified the starting point of the whole plot of the story. The speech also sufficiently described the burdens and suffering experienced by the animals in the farm. These two speeches are both influential and it is evident they share a lot of similarities in themes and messages. Yet, both speeches also have a number of significant differences.


Similarities of the Two Speeches

Both speeches tackle the sensitive and controversial issues of slavery. The target audience of the two speeches are victims of unjust, dreary circumstances and hard labor. Both speeches also encourage these victims to work together for justice and freedom. The main message of  King’s speech is to make people aware that the injustice among the Blacks remain prevalent and to motivate people to work together in allowing them to have the freedom, justice, and equal rights that they deserve. The speech eloquently described the current “shameful condition” of the Blacks in America despite the promise of emancipation many years ago (King, 1963).  It was a speech that demanded actions from its audience, as it motivates people to do something. Feeling that their justice has been long overdue, King (1963) described in his speech that “now is the time to make real the promises of democracy” and promote equality to all, regardless of their races. Old Major’s speech narrated the injustices endured by animals in the Jones Farm. It emphasized that the fate of animals had bee “miserable, laborious, and short” and they would probably be living happy lives if humans will be chased away from their farm (Orwell, 2003).

Old Major is a highly regarded animal in the farm so he was well received by an audience who believed in his wisdom. On the other hand, King is a very important political leader and hero of democracy for the Black Americans. They are both highly respected and prominent to their audience. Both I Have A Dream and Old Major’s speech also used lines from songs that are very fit to their advocacies in order to give emphasis on the messages they want to convey.


Differences of the Two Speeches

Despite having the same themes and goals, the two speeches also share a lot of important differences. Firstly, the setting of the two speeches is relevantly different. America was the main topic in King’s speech while England was the country referred to by Old Major. King (1963) emphasized in his speech that “there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights” and asks both the Blacks and White Americans seeking for peace to help each other in achieving fairness to all people. In fact, some of King’s audience during his speech where Whites. The speech does not encourage having a bloodshed in order to achieve the goal of destroying racial discrimination. In fact, the speech asked the Black Americans not to “allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence” and rather promote the peaceful cooperation between them and the White Americans in achieving a fairer and more equal community (King, 1963). On the other hand, Old Major’s speech emphasized the anger and reason for discord between the animals and the men. Old Major specifically said that “man is the only real enemy we have”and without them, overwork in the part of the animals will be abolished and they never have to go hungry in England’s land again (Orwell, 2003). His speech encouraged the needed amount of violence they had to do in order to achieve freedom and overthrow the humans.

Both speeches also used the word “Dream” in them but the interpretation of the word is very different from each other. Old Major’s defined the word dream in his speech more literally because it was a dream that had occurred to him the night before when he was asleep. Although Old Major was describing an ideal in his overall speech, the usage of the word dream still fits the definition of something that happens when one was asleep. King’s usage of the word dream is to define an ideal or a vision that he had for the Black Americans and nowhere in the speech did he use it to define something he saw while sleeping.







King, M. L. (1963). “I Have A Dream.” American Rhetoric: Top 100 Speeches. Retrieved

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Orwell, G. (2003). “Animal Farm: Chapter I.” The Complete Works of George Orwell.

Retrieved from ;;.