In the 20th century women and children faced many injustices across the United States. Many supporters of the women’s suffrage were also advocates of child labor restrictions. Florence Kelley, an ambitious reformer and social worker, delivered a speech to the Notional American Women Suffrage Association in Philadelphia on July 22, 1905 in order to galvanize others to make changes in woman’s rights and child labor laws.
Kelley purposefully appeals to emotions of her audience with the use of imagery and utilized parallel thought structure in order to convey her key points more prominently with the aid of literally elements. Kelley uses emotional appeal in her speech in order to further gain the attention of her audience by manipulating the audience’s emotions to ones Kelley feels will get her point across the best. She starts off her speech by using a piece of data that evokes strong emotion.
In the first paragraph Kelley states that “two million” people under the age of sixteen years are working. She then goes further to state the gruesome jobs the children are doing such as working in cotton-mills and coal-breakers. She starts off with this emotional piece of data so that she can immediately get the attention of her audience. Once the attention of her audience is gained she freely talks about her wants for the change in law but she constantly reflects back to emotional appeal by using imagery throughout her speech in order to keep the audience’s attention.
Another point she uses it is when she describes the treat of little six or seven year old girls in Georgia. Since at this point in time Georgia had no child labor laws Kelley uses the possible scenario of a little six or seven year old girl in Georgia whom is just able to reach the bobbins working eleven hours a day to create the emotion of sadness to bring the attention of her audience to her. She then immediately says “and they will do so tonight while we sleep” referring to the girls in her scenario to make the audience feel sadder about the situation and bringing the audience’s even attention even more towards her.
By getting the Audience sad by using imagery and drawing them into her argument Kelley is able to bring her argument to the audience. Kelley also uses literary devices in order to make her key points in her argument seem stronger to the audience. Kelley conveys her key points throughout her speech with the use of parallelism. She repeats the same concept of the unfair child labor laws in four paragraphs to emphasize the point of the unfair laws.
She uses the similar labor laws in Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to repeat the concepts throughout these four paragraphs of her speech and to make sure her audience understands the importance of the unfair laws child labor laws in her argument. When describing these laws she uses literary elements to support her claim. For example she uses the implied positivity (the connotation) of the word “privilege” to create a sarcastic statement that contains a paraxial set of words to back up the unfairness of the child labor law set in New Jersey. Kelley does this when she states “boys and girls, after their 14th birthday, enjoy the pitiful privilege of working all night long”.
She then ties the audience into the argument of child labor by finally tying the concepts of women’s suffrage into her debate after she vividly describes the unfairness of child labor laws through imagery, and literary elements. Kelley also uses a parallel thought structure when talking about women’s rights and how the enfranchisement of women could heal the child labor issues in the United States. She starts off the repeated ideas on women’s liberty with a two rhetorical questions that gets the audience even further intrigued in what she is going to say next. In sum, she asks the audience if women and teachers in Georgia could vote, would there still be unfair child labor laws.
She then asks if women in New Jersey could vote would the bill that enabled girls 14 and up to work all night have been passed. Of course due to the bias of her audience most of the audience would have been thinking at this point the answer to those questions are no. Kelley subliminally at this point stated the women were able to vote child labor wouldn’t become as much of an issue. She wants the audience to think this because it then alludes to her next point that agrees with the bias of most of the people in the room, enfranchise of women as a solution to child labor issues.
Kelley then says until the freedom of women, all women in the “great industrial states” will have unfree consciences and all people in the room should feel they have to participate in this beneficial change. Towards the end of her speech she repeats the idea ,due to her parallel though structure, again but more clearly that with the freedom of women; women will be able to take the place of children in the factories to reduce child labor. In sum, through her speech Kelley is able to effectively use rhetoric to persuade her audience in her claim of both the unfairness of child labor laws and how the enfranchisement of women would help fix the issue.