What are some similarities between Old Major's speech in Animal Farm, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the major similarities between both Dr. King's speech as well as the one offered by Old Major at the start of Orwell's work.  Both speeches render a vision of what can be in stark opposition to what is.  Dr. King's speech articulates what African- Americans are enduring in a nation that has not fully acknowledged Civil Rights.  Old Major's speech articulates what the animals are enduring under the rule of humans such as Jones.  Dr. King's speech identifies that there has to be a collective understanding amongst people of color as well as individuals who are committed to social change.  Old Major's speech argues the same in that the animals have to coalesce and unify in order to ensure that there will be some level of change in the affairs of the farm.  At the same time, I think that both speeches end with a call to action, a type of resounding declaration that rouses their respective audiences to envision the change that can be present in their worlds.  Animalism and the Civil Rights Movement are embraced and realized at the conclusion of both speeches, making them rousing and powerful in their respective calls for change.

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