Rhetorical Analysis Of Speech By Florence Kelley

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A Woman’s National Duty In the early 1900s, industrialists began to utilize child labor as a cheap source of work. However, the conditions these children worked in were both unsanitary and unsafe, creating a group of reformers who wished to see children out of the workforce. Social worker Florence Kelley was among this group and spoke at the National American Women Suffrage Association in 1905. Throughout her speech to encourage women to fight for the vote to prevent atrocities like child labor, Kelley delivers her message to her audience with the use of rhetorical strategies including rhetorical appeals, rhetorical questions, and hortative sentences. With the use of rhetorical appeals like logos and pathos, Kelley causes the audience to feel guilty about these miserable working conditions. After explaining that “…while we sleep, several thousand little girls will be working in textile mills…” the audience sympathizes with the children. Because they are young, children are seen to be innocent and naïve. Deep into the night, little girls and boys work away to “make our shoes… knit our stockings… spin and weave our cotton underwear…” and adults do nothing but sleep. Kelley places responsibility on the audience, implying that while they…show more content…
Beginning from line 85 and continuing to the end of her speech, the speaker strengthens her argument by telling everyone exactly what needs to be done to fix the injustice of child labor. She specifies that “There is one line of actions… We can enlist the workingmen on behalf of our enfranchisement…” demonstrating what they, as a collective group needs to do. Because this creates a sense of unity and purpose within the audience to eliminate child labor by gaining the right to vote to do so. Kelley emphasizes throughout her speech that with the enfranchisement of women, child labor could have been prevented from the very
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