Florence Kelley's Rhetoric Of Child Labor

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Child labor was a huge topic of discussion in the 1900s. Some opposed it while others felt it was completely just to keep the economy running. Florence Kelley, in 1905, delivered her speech, which explained that child labor is completely unjustified and wrong. In her speech, Kelley uses rhetorical strategies such as varied syntax, statistics and facts, as well as detail to provoke sympathy from her audience. She uses these strategies effectively to convey her message. Firstly, Kelley effectively uses parallel structure when she states, “Men increase, women increase, youth increase, boys increase...doubles as girls between twelve and twenty years of age. They are in offices, commerce, and manufacturing.” She gives reasoning by saying…show more content…
“We have, in this country, two million children under the age of sixteen years who are earning their bread.” This statement depicts that millions of kids are out there in the workforce, even though they shouldn’t be. They should be enjoying their freedom as kids and playing outside, By using this statistic, Kelley establishes that she’s credible and knowledgeable on the topic, hence, gaining the reader’s trust. She also delineates that “In Pennsylvania until last May it was lawful for children, 13 years of age, to work twelve hours at night. A little girl on her thirteenth birthday could start away from her home.” This fact is shocking and to Kelley, this is unacceptable and wrong. Kids at the age of thirteen should be concerned about their education and their friends, not work. By adding these statistics, Kelley proves to her audience that she is knowledgeable about the laws and procedures in other states. The reader is able to determine her credibility on the subject of child labor. Additionally, Kelley uses details to provoke sympathy from her audience when she communicates, “While we sleep at night, little white girls will be working tonight in the mills in those states, working eleven hours at night.” She describes that while people are enjoying their peaceful sleep and time to themselves, little girls are out working a twelve hour shift, The overworking of the children causes the reader to feel sorrow because they should be at home enjoying their sleep since kids need way more sleep than adults because their minds are still developing and
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