The story Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King is an example of great writing. King utilizes emotive imagery, symbols, rhetorical questions, stylistic, narrative, and persuasivedevices to describe the social conditions and mind set of many African Americans in the 1960's. He persuades the reader to agree with his ideas by stating the facts, past and present, about how African Americans were forced into helping build this nation when they arrived on slave ships, but even after the Emancipation Proclamation, the Negro was still not free. He tells of the hardships of African Americans of that time, and why they could not wait any longer for freedom. In this writing King tells of a little boy and a little girl; one living in Harlem, and the other in Birmingham. Although they are in totally different parts of the country, they both endurethe same problems and horrid conditions.
The boy lives in a vermin-infested apartment house, where the scent of garbage fills the halls, and drunks, junkies, and unemployed individuals iswhat he is surrounded by and what he see’s every day. The girl lives in a rickety wooden one-family house.The roof of the house seems in danger of caving in, and the outside is in need of paint. The girl is forced to be mother of her other siblings and cannot even attend school anymore. Her mother died in a car accident, because the ambulance came late to take her to the “all-Negro” hospital.The imagery he uses to describe the places where these children live makes you feel as if you are there yourself, you can smell the stench in the halls, and see the drunks staggering their way through the halls.You can see the roof of the girls house about to fall in, and see all the children she has to take care of.
King says that the boy and the girl are wondering why does misery constantly haunt the Negro? He is using the boy and the girl to say, what have they done so to have to live in such horrible conditions, and receive such unfair treatment. Many rhetorical questions are asked throughout the story such as: “Why does misery constantly haunt the Negro?”,.