Rhetorical Devices In Florence Kelley's Speech

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In her speech, written to persuade her audience to help put an end to child labor, Florence Kelley employs many rhetorical devices. America in 1905, we learned, was riddled with inadequate labor laws, as well as working conditions. In order to convey her message, that these unethical statues need to be amended, Kelley uses rhetorical strategies such as pathos, parallelism, and illustration. Pathos is found throughout the entire speech, particularly emphasizing the horrific jobs the children were performing under terrible conditions and for countless hours. The descriptions of these appeal to the readers emotions, as the facts that she shares depict scenes we consider unusual even for adults. Kelley gives examples of the jobs they performed, …show more content…

Lines 50-54 explicitly tell a story of a young girl who falls victim to these unethical labor laws. Kelley uses this imagery and depiction to illustrate her thesis that these children are, in fact, being treated poorly and immorally. Polysyndeton can also be found in Kelley's speech and this contributes to the creation of imagery. In lines 20-22, Kelley describes the "deafening noise of the spindles and the looms spinning and weaving cotton and wool, silks and ribbons for us to buy." This imagery, like the illustration, appeals the listener's emotions as it gives them an inside look on what it is like to be a child working under these conditions. In conclusion, Florence Kelley used many rhetorical strategies in order to call her audience to arms against child labor laws. She accuses the laws of being unjust and labels the children prisoners. In the last two paragraphs, Kelley refers to her cause as the "freeing of the children." She believed the children were robbed of their basic rights and freedoms by labor laws and used strategies such as pathos, parallelism, and illustration to convince her audience to help her "free the

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