While We Sleep Speech Analysis

624 Words3 Pages
Kelly uses her time before the National American Women’s Suffrage Association to convince those in the audience that child labor is a women’s suffrage issue; that the mother’s, aunts, and sisters have a responsibility to help these children, which they cannot currently fulfil. She appeals directly to them by using little girls as examples in almost every paragraph, the repetition of “while we sleep,” and appeals directly to the hearts of a mother or parent. Kelly understands that this group’s main concern is the right to vote, and once they receive it, she wants to ensure that they will use that power to end child labor. Her speech was given fifteen years before women are finally granted the right to vote, yet it gives the members of the…show more content…
Not only does she allow those women to visualize themselves in place of the young girl, she aims to get the sympathy of the crowd by using the contrast between the innocence of a little girl and arduous, demanding reality of adulthood. She details “a little girl, on her thirteenth birthday, could start away from her home at half past five in the afternoon, carrying her pail of midnight luncheon, and could work in the mill from six at night until six in the morning…” (48-53). By mentioning a little girl in place of possibly a young woman, she emphasizes the cruelty of the child labor laws and exhibits how utterly ridiculous they are. Kelley is trying to make the audience guilty because she knows that a guilty person is an invested person. She continues with this tactic by employing the repetition of “while we sleep” in lines 18 29, and 35. She wants the audience to feel guilty about the fact that they are resting while cruelty towards a child is taking place, instead of out petitioning and using the rights they do have. Even by using the phrase “none of us are able to free our consciences from participation in this great evil,” Kelley is holding the audience personally responsible (ADD WORDS
Open Document