A Rhetorical Analysis Of Women's Suffrage Speech

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In the 18th and 19th centuries, women were treated as inferior and there ideas were suppressed. Women’s places were in the homes. They had no voting rights, no career opportunities, no say, no freedom. These retrained women had enough, and so many stood up for themselves and others. Suffragette was the name granted to these women. One of history’s most famous suffragettes was a woman named Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton accomplished many things in her lifetime. One of her most memorable moments was when she gave the speech The Destructive Male at the 1868 Women’s Suffrage Convention. With this speech she passionately states how the intelligent, wise female is kept from having any involvement in the world and how this affects our nation since…show more content…
Therefore, Stanton made her speech very personal and directed it towards every single woman in America. She uses this emotional appeal throughout her speech. Using her words she paints a picture of an intellectual, empathetic, powerful woman who is being suppressed by the male. When speaking about the male Stanton says, “The male element is a destructive force, stern, selfish, aggrandizing, loving war, violence, conquest, acquisition, breeding in the material and moral world alike discord, disorder, disease, and death.” The male is made out to be evil, selfish and destructive, while the female is made to be loving, wise, and courageous. Creating this good vs. bad scenario, she reaches the heart of every female in the audience and makes every woman feel as if she is speaking directly to them. Every woman hearing the speech will associate the words to their own lives, and when a woman does this she will feel angry at her many injustices. After creating a passionate, angry, justice seeking atmosphere, Stanton starts to twist in logical appeals with the emotions when she says “remember that man, who represents but half a complete being, with but half an idea on every subject, has undertaken the absolute control of all sublunary matters.” By the time she is done speaking, every woman in the house will be 100 times more passionate about suffrage. Each individual woman in the…show more content…
One of the main things she incorporates throughout her speech is hyperbole. She uses this exaggeration in a way that makes sure every single person who leaves the convention after her speech will know exactly what her message was. The problem Stanton was discussing was very serious and many were brushing it off like it doesn 't matter. Woman suffrage was not being taken seriously by males. In her speech Stanton uses hyperbole to demand to be heard. A great example of the usage of hyperbole in her speech is, “The male element has… [crushed] out all the diviner qualities in human nature.” In this sentence, Stanton describes all men as evil, horrible creatures, when she does not truly mean this since she says, “In speaking of the masculine element, I do not wish to be understood to say that all men are hard, selfish, and brutal, for many of the most beautiful spirits the world has known have been clothed with manhood.” She was using hyperbole and she exaggerates to the point that she has to be taken seriously. Once she grabs your attention like that, she explains why the repression of woman is a true problem, not only for females but for males too. After hearing her speech, just about anyone would join and follow Stanton in a quest for
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