Analysis Of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Solitude Of Self

1235 Words5 Pages

Writer and women's rights activist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in her speech, “Solitude of Self”, elucidates why women have a right to individual liberty and equality. Stanton's purpose is to impress the idea that every person is primarily an individual unlike any other human who has ever lived and whose rights must be treated individually and not in relation to gender or career. She adopts a remonstrative tone in order to arouse a sense of guilt and accountability in her male listeners. Stanton begins her speech with an appeal to logic. She summarizes her purpose, and by describing the individuality of each person as “our Protestant idea”, she creates common ground between herself and her audience. By employing the word “our”, the listener is subtly made to agree with Stanton, for all of Protestant Christendom agrees with her. Stanton then rapidly outlines four logical points that illustrate why women should be allowed educational opportunities equal to a man's. Having briefly considered the feminine sex as an individual, a citizen of the United States, and as a woman, she …show more content…

She underscores that no finite being can penetrate the human soul by describing it as more hidden than the supernatural mysteries of ancient myths, such as the “chamber of eleusinian mystery”, and as something only “omniscience” can know. This logically contributes to her closing thought, which she gives as another rhetorical question. “Who, I ask you, can take, dare take, on himself the rights, the duties, the responsibilities of another human soul?” By calling the female soul's rights, duties, and responsibilities “another”, she suggests that both souls are fundamentally the same. She specifically requires this answer of her audience, forcing them to evaluate it's argument

Open Document