In his acceptance speech for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King Jr. likens his experiences in the civil rights movement to traveling on a road. Explain how using a road as a symbol for...

In his acceptance speech for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King Jr. likens his experiences in the civil rights movement to traveling on a road. Explain how using a road as a symbol for his experiences impacts the meaning of the speech. Be sure to use specific details from the speech to support your ideas.

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pholland14 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

King uses the road metaphor in the fourth paragraph of his 1964 Nobel Prize acceptance speech.  During his presentation, he cites the brutality against civil rights marchers in Birmingham, Alabama, and Philadelphia, Mississippi.  He wonders why he is even chosen to win the award, given the violence against his movement.  King goes on to state that civil rights is part of mankind's progress and even gives it a holy goal when he states that the races will be considered equally before God.  He even states that the alternative to this journey toward civil rights is a journey to "thermonuclear destruction," which was a very real concern at the height of the Cold War.  King says that the new Civil Rights Bill (which was just signed into law in 1964) will be part of a new civil rights "superhighway" of justice in which people of all races will unite to solve their common problems.  King uses the highway metaphor sparingly, but he uses it to describe humanity's progress.  

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