Are there any examples of metonymy in the "I Have a Dream Speech"?

1 Answer
Jan 7, 2017

Yes! (see explanation)


Metonymy is the name for when you refer to something with the name of another thing to which it is related. I common example is how we call business executives "suits" sometimes, or you'd call shoes "kicks."

Dr. King does use some metonymy in his speech:

  • "the Negr*"- all African-American people
  • "all flesh"- everyone, all people
  • "Stone Mountain"- possibly the racist South (he could literally be referring to Stone Mountain in Georgia, but he also may be referring to the site of the founding of the Ku Klux Klan)
  • And there's likely some more examples that I'm missing