Florence Kelley Rhetorical Analysis

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In 1905, a United States social reformer named Florence Kelley fought for child labor laws and improved working conditions for women. In July 1095, Kelley delivered a speech on child labor (and other topics) while in Philadelphia as a part of the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention. Within the speech, Kelley uses many notable rhetorical devices, which will be analyzed in this essay. Perhaps the most noticeable of Kelley’s rhetorical devices is the vast amount of facts and statistics contained within her speech. Whether discussing the rate at which the wage earning class increases to the current and past laws of states like Alabama and New Jersey, Kelley presents herself as knowledgeable and trustworthy. By sounding educated, …show more content…

Kelley could have simply stated “Would children still be working if mothers had the right to vote?” However, she does not focus on this topic. Instead, Kelley takes this opportunity to antagonize the Georgia Legislature, reminding the audience that they were the ones that voted in favor of children under 12 years of age working in the mills. Kelley’s critique of Georgia’s legislature is not where she stops, either. Kelley goes on to call out New Jersey’s legislature, and has already discussed the legislatures of Alabama, Georgia, North, and South Carolina. While not a traditional strategy (i.e. not one usually taught), Kelley masterfully directs the reader’s anger at the leaders of these states. It would easier for Kelley to discuss the impact of child labor on society, but Kelley’s presentation of an enemy gives readers someone to write to and attack—it presents a solution, of sorts. Kelley’s brilliant use of rhetorical strategies causes the reader to experience her message rather than gloss over it. Instead of stating something as basic as “Child labor is bad, and must be stopped,” Kelley takes the reader on a journey across America, and shows them the effects of child labor. Kelley does this by utilizing rhetorical strategies and their affect on how people interpret

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