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Notion places and forms of power

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Par   •  21 Novembre 2019  •  Cours  •  1 400 Mots (6 Pages)  •  527 Vues

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I’m going to introduce the notion “places and forms of power”.  

But first of all, I would like to give a definition of what it means to me. Power can be a right or an authority. Power is the ability to control others, events, or resources; it is also the ability to make things happen despite obstacles, resistance, or opposition. This can lead to conflicts between those who have power and those who don't.

In class, we have studied the power of words all around the world.

So, we can wonder if words can be used as a powerful weapon.

To answer this question, I’m going to use three documents: two studied in class and one personal document chosen by myself. For those studied in class, I’ve chosen a video by Amnesty International and a video about cyber bullying. My personal document is composed of two speeches delivered by J.F Kennedy on the 26th of June 1963 at Berlin and by Martin Luther King on the 28th of August 1963


First, words can be used as a powerful weapon in a positive way. The video made by Amnesty International, which is an NGO (non-governmental organization), focuses on human rights violations. Morgan Freeman, who is an American Actor, is committed in the action of Amnesty and he is supporting them. In the video, the organization wants us to write a letter to free the people who are illegally arrested in some countries around the world. Here, our words have the ability to free them, so they have power. The video gave us examples of people illegally arrested for nothing. For example, in China, a journalist was sentenced to 10 year’s imprisonment because he had sent an email. In Iran, some men and women were tortured, beaten and arrested because they were asking for fair elections. And finally, in Zimbabwe, an activist was kidnapped because of his protest against the government corruption. The organization, by the way of the video broadcast all around the world, is asking us to take a stand to denounce the violation of human rights. With the help of our words, we can free the prisoners and put pressure on the governments. Our words might make dictatorships collapse. Amnesty International thinks that if we send many letters, many prisoners will be released. The NGO wants us to use the power of words to help those who are unfairly imprisoned. It is addressed to political prisoners but also women and men who were beaten, arrested, tortured and maybe murdered by dictatorships. Our letters can turn into keys and will open their cell doors. Thanks to this video, we can see how powerful words can be. They represent a weapon against injustice and oppression imposed by dictatorships. They can in this case be powerful as weapons. The motto of the video is “words can do anything”. In my opinion, this video can raise awareness to people and convince them to write a letter to help those prisoners. For my part, I am ready to write a letter because I think that we have to struggle to defend human rights not only in our living country but also all around the world.

In the speech delivered by J.F.Kennedy on the 26th of June 1963 in West Berlin, words are used in a positive way too. This speech is about freedom and human rights. Kennedy is giving hope to the citizens of Berlin after the division of Germany and the dictatorship of Nikita Khrouchtchev during the Cold War. Kennedy pronounces the words “Ich bin ein Berliner” and insists on them in order to show that the citizens have the support of the Americans but also of all their allies. Here his words have the power to tell them to keep fighting, keep hoping and that there is always hope. The president’s message is: never give up.                                      

The speech “I Have a Dream”, delivered by Martin Luther King on the 28th of August 1963, also conveys a positive message. This speech was delivered at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was a path-breaking moment for the Civil Rights Movement in America at that moment. This speech was given to an audience of more than 200,000 people. This speech is very famous because he insists on the blacks’ condition and about racism. The speech begins with a reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed several millions of slaves in 1863. King then states that "a century later, the Negro is still not free." Continuing his speech, he gradually deviates from his notes and improvises an anaphora, hammering the expression "I have a dream" after Mahalia Jackson shouted at him: "Tell them about your dream, Martin!” He describes his dream of freedom and equality emerging from a world marked by slavery and hatred. According to journalist Jon Meacham, with this single sentence, Martin Luther King joins Jefferson and Lincoln among the men who shaped the modern United States. I think that those words were very important to free people and to raise awareness about inequalities. Racism shall not exist in this world because we are all human. I think this speech in one of the most important of the 20th century.


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