|AP English Language Exam – 2011
Working women and children fought for equal rights throughout most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Ironically, women and children were the ones subject to heinous, unimaginable working conditions from an early age. Reformers, such as Florence Kelley, campaigned for equal conditions for all people in the workplace. While her crusade obtained the support of many, the opposition to equal conditions was immense and difficult to overcome. Speeches became a tool used to rally support for the common cause, especially among women. Kelley’s speech at the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s convention appeals to the sentiments of the listeners and utilizes emotional examples in order to elicit a positive, as well as revolutionary response from the listeners.
The speech begins with a strong appeal to sentiment, urging an emotional response from the reader after hearing heinous horror stories of young children trapped in horrid working conditions with no way to escape. By making it nearly impossible for the listeners to disagree, Kelley captivates her audience from the beginning. In addition, many listeners may experience a feeling of guilt after hearing “tonight while we sleep, several thousand little girls will be working in textile mills.” After attempting to cause a feeling of guilt, Kelley hopes the listeners will want to make a change or join the cause. Creating such a rigid separation between the women and child laborers and the listeners results in feelings of sorrow and the need to help or make a difference.
The vivid language and imagery employed by Kelley dramatizes the horror of the working conditions without sounding overly descriptive. This imagery describes the working conditions as well as simple objects, such as the hats made by the child laborers. Phrases such as “they spin and weave the silk and velvet….stamp buckles and metal ornaments of all kinds, as well as pins and hat pins.” The vivid imagery and descriptions allow the listener to imagine the children working, causing increased feelings of sorrow. Consequently, the listeners can also imagine the poor conditions of a result of the imagery and diction. Kelley may as employ a slight hyperbole, which is highly effective because it is not overly dramatic and appeals to the emotions of the
readers. The speech gives the impression that equally horrid working conditions exist for all women and child laborers. While this may be a slight exaggeration, it is effective considering this hyperbole makes the cause seem almost increasingly worthy to the listeners.
Within the body of the speech, Kelley uses specific anecdotes of poor children and women working under poor conditions. The use of specific examples makes the story more relatable as opposed to hypothetical. Statements such as “New Jersey permits it all night long” and “ in Pennsylvania, until last May it was lawful for children, 13 years of age, to work twelve hours at night,” make the experiences seem common everywhere allowing the listeners to comprehend the importance of the issue at hand. After utilizing several effective examples, Kelley begins a slight use of the dogged question. Throughout the entire speech, Kelley assumes she is right with no room for error about the conditions of the children and women working. By refusing to let
readers disagree with her, Kelley becomes even more revolutionary and effective in increasing the appeal of her cause. As a result, Kelley gives off the impression that she is speaking for the people through lines such as “for the sake of the children, for the Republic.” Therefore, the listeners almost have to believe her cause because she leaves no options for the listeners. Something must be done because the horrors of ever working conditions have occured for too long.
Overall, Kelley uses rhetorical devices heavily and impressively in order to appeal to the sentiments of her listeners and evince the need for change in her society. From the beginning, Kelley does not leave any room for doubt as she employs specific examples to illustrate the heinous working conditions. By leaving no room for questions and making her listeners feel guilty without appearing overly forceful, Kelley delivers a powerful message that suceeded in evoking positive and emotional responses form even an ill-informed listener.
Wow! this speech was seriously really nice. I am so glad to write about it & not some convoluted (useless) Henery James passage. Thanks.
Ms. Kelley does an amazing job of effectively articulating her cause to the audience & in fact making it their cause also. By the end of the speech I was getting goosebumbs. This speech was sort of to enlighten her readers to the atrocities that happen “while we (the audience) sleep”. She used this phrase in parallel structure & repetively in several of her early paragraphs. For me it ellicited a sense of unknowing or ignorance that the audience has as to what goes on in the consciense world while they are in their fitful & resting unconscious slumber. There is a lot of emotional appeal in this speech talking about little girls less than 10 years of age “working in textile mills, all night through, in the deatening noise of the spindles…” This emotional appeal
although abundant is not overdone or superficial at all which is why it has a great effect on the reader. .
One of the ways the author elicits emotional appeal of the audience is through phrases like “silks & ribbons for us to buy”, “while we sleep”, “none of us shall be able to free our consciouness…from participation in this great evil”, “they knit our stocking….”. All these phrases clearly imply that the audience is somewhat complicit for the misery & pitiful conditions of the children by their usage of the manufactured goods which support the terrible system in place. Noone in the audience probably originally taught that they were so responsible for the children’s fate, but this accusatory rhetoric of author probably would jog their emotions & would spur them to take action. This strategy of exhorting the audience to her cause was nicely & effectively executed by the sincere author.
Other rhetorical devices in the speech include a sort of sarcasm or irony when the author describes the gift on the 14th birthday to be to “enjoy the pitiful privilege of working all night long.” The Phrase “all night long also comes up a lot through the passage. All of this emphasis on nightime & sleeping v.s. working is important in my opinion because 99% of the people would go by the logic that day is for work & night for rest. The speech makes it clear that the young children are tortuously forced to work. But what makes the matter worse is the fact that they have to work at night, a time traditionally set aside even for adults for rest.
The author effectively employs the use of rhetorical questions to basically stress the importance of the suffrage movement. Question on lines 55–65 like “if the mothers & teachers in Georgia…12 years of age?” are only questions in their syntax but in effect they are statements. Everyone know & understands that mothers & teachers would be against the atrocious conditions, but the main statement the author is trying to convey is that mothers & teachers (in general women) should be allowed to vote for the benefit of our (the ???) children & for the fate of our nation which rests in the hands of our children.
This speech effectively employed rhetorical strategies like emotional appeal, rhetorical questions & repitition/pparallelism to memorably convey to the audience the author’s thesis & message.
Florence Kelley uses multiple rhetorical strategies to convey her message about child labor in the speech she gave to the National American Woman Suffrage Association in Philidelphia in 1905. The first she uses is exaggeration. Kelley says, “they are in commerce, in offices, in manufacturing,” implying that the young female workers are everywhere. This is effective because it gets her audience members thinking about the child laborers and everything they are doing for society. Another strategy Kelley uses is creating a picture in the minds of everyone listening of young girls “working in textile mills, all the night through, in the deafening noise of the spindles and the looms spinning and weaving cotton and wool, silks and ribbons for us to buy.” This picture and the fact that the children are making goods “for us to buy” is effective because it probably makes many women listening to the speech uncomfortable and also makes them want to do something to change the current circumstances. Kelley also uses questioning as a rhetorical technique. After explaining the labor laws in many states, both northern and southern, she asks the audience if the legislatures would have been able to pass the labor laws allowing children to work long hours at night and into the early morning had women, mothers, and teachers been allowed to vote. Kelley places some of the blame on the women themselves, saying, “until the mothers in the great industrial states be enfranchised, we shall none of us be able to free our consciences from participation in this great evil.” Florence Kelley is obviously very dedicated to decreasing the child labor that is used in almost every part of the
industrial sector. In her speech, she uses rhetorical strategies to convey her message about child labor to the audience and does an excellent job.
In this speech by Florence Kelley, she utilizes emotional appeal, personal connections through the use of first person point of view, and repetition in order to affect change in her country’s policies about child labor and women suffrage. She uses these techniques to rally strong support for child labor restrictions and enfranchisement of women. First, Kelley used a certain shock value that tugged at the heartstrings of her audience. Because her audience was largely a crowd of women, these emotional appeals quite possibly strengthened support for her causes. She states that little girls are working “in the mills in those states, working eleven hours at night” (line 30–31). This implies that young girls are being forced to work long hours without rest. Kelley invokes a sense of guilt when she says, “The children make our shoes in the shoe factories; they knit our stockings, our knitted underwear in the knitting factories.” This implies that while these women are idly standing by without rights to vote, young girls are forced to do all the strenuous work. Kelley uses several examples to both shock and guilt the audience into campaigning harder for the right to vote and the right to save their daughters.
Secondly, Kelley uses first person point of view to show her personal connections and emotions on the issues. She does not address the audience without placing herself in the reference as well. She says, “we do not wish this….But we are almost powerless.” (lines 78–80). This quote shows her desire to connect herself to the crowd and provide a more personal touch to the speech. Also, this use of first person eliminates any accusations of the audience. In essense, she is saying that the reason these poor girls are stuck working in factories is because of the women’s inability to vote, which easily could have sounded accusatory. However, her use of first person and referring to the crowd as “we” eliminates this negative possibility. Finally, Kelley utilizes repetition to provide special emphasis in her speech. When she refers to the young girls’ forced labor, she says, “And they will do so tonight, while we sleep.” (lines 35) This quote shows that women are basically doing nothing to help the poor factory children.
While women are neglecting to fight for the right to vote, their daughters must suffer. In Kelley’s speech, she says that the women are sleeping while the children work three times. This repetition provides emphasis and consistancy in rhetoric, improving the quality and rallying nature of the speech.
In conclusion, Florence Kelley utilizes a strong emotional appeal, first person connections, and repetition in order to affect these women’s emotions. She used emotional appeal to strengthen support; she used personal connections to ensure unity and prevent accusations; she used repetition for emphasis and consistant flow of the speech. Kelley used these rhetorical strategies in order to ensure a comradery and unity that would eventually lead to a major forward advance in both women’s rights and labor laws in the United States.
Kelley Florence usage of ??? nation wide child labor conveys her her message that action must be taken to clear the self consciences of every American by freeing every child from the shakles we chained them with and the saddle we rode with their cheap labor. She refrences the common American, who sleeps through the night, unaware of the two millions children working strainious hours on preparing or creating the products sold at local stores. Giving a consitent amount of examples that include every place immaginable and inamanigable to child labor. Refering to her and people moral views to help gain support to free the childrenfrom toil. Showing that childhood experiences such as birthdays and freeness of mind are changed by the pitiful privilege of working as adults on dangerous and unfitting machines. To capture, yet again, the severity of the problem she points to common items that everyone owns, has, or wears as a constant reminder of the overworked children. Also refering to the Industries that accept and appoint the children to manufacture products in an unsafe industry as evil. As ifthe Industry had no concent or moral values to even attemp to restrict child labor. The Question said, are the children slaves to our demands, or are we slaves to constant demand of cheap labor and affordable products.
Child labor back in the 1800’s was unlawful and cruel to children. Children worred more than most people in todays society work. Children could be killed doing their job and they would be replaced. There was no affect for what was going on.
As with most social reformers, Kelley’s first purpose is to shock the audience into response. She rages against an injustice, and in order to do so she must provoke the audience. To do so, she manages a tricky task; to turn cold statistics into the fuel for the fires of rage in her audience. Her goal is to arouse the audience to indignation by simply laying bare the horrors of her cause, before exhorting them on to what, at that point, is in their minds, the only, inexorable conclusion.
When railing against laws such as these, it is sometimes important to explain why they are unjust. This Kelley does, and does without hesitation. But just as important is the layering of her protests. When in lines 23–5, she slams Alabama for allowing children to work night shifts, she does not leave it in isolation. Rather, she characterizes it as “better in this respect than any other southern state” (2–6) before detailing the lack of even that meagre limit in Georgia or the Carolinas (27–8). In introducing her speech she lays out the specific laws of the several states, where child labor may be legal at the age of 6 or 16 (lines 3–6), illustrating the scope of the cruelty.
But in doing so, she is not merely explaining; she uses irony to mould her audience to her cause. In line 76 she refers to children as “little beasts of burden” not out of scorn, for she obviously cares for their welfare, but to call attention to their status as barely human. Her juxtaposition of her audience (presumably well-to-do suffragettes, by her background) asleep in all the comforts of home against the eternal clatter of “several thousand girls…working in textile mills, all the night through” (lines 15–19) is very carefully honed to shock the audience by exposing them, by proxy, to the torment of “the deafening noise of the spindles” (line 20), before deftly tying the rapt audience to the injustice by reminding them that these children make goods “for us to buy” (line 22). She mocks Alabama as “better in this respect” than its peers for only making children work 8 hours a night (lines 23–6), daughters the “pitiful priviledge” of toil (line 45).
Kelley’s speech is carefully calibrated, first to arouse that sense of horror among her audience, and then to inculcate in them a sense of responsibility. She speaks of the need to “free our consciences” from this burden of guilt (line 85). What guilt? Most will have not actively supported child labor, but Kelley reminds them that “no one in this room can feel free from such participation,” because they all wear the fruits of this labor (lines 65–66). This gives her rhetorical question of whether Georgia or New Jersey would have been so cruel had women been allowed to vote against such laws (lines 55–62). And in doing so, she ties the “shameful” laws to the injustice of women not voting (line 60).
And then, so subtlely and craftily, she has the solution. Having assured her audience that “we do not wish this” (line 78) the “one line of action” open to her troops is the fight for sufferage (line 86). The only present course of action, then, is to liberate women to liberate the children And just like that, her audience one might imagine, appalled by the horrors of puerile labor, is won over. By judiciously outlining the callous cruelty and wrongful nature of the system, and making her listeners feel invested in ending such a system, Kelley has succeeded in her aims.
In Florence Kelley’s speech, she laments the injustices of child labor in the United States. She uses logos, or logical appeal, and pathos, or appeal to the audience’s emotions, in order to convince them of her point of view and make a strong argument. In her logical argument, Kelley uses facts such as state laws and statistics. For her emotional appeal, she uses repetitian, and also works to make the reader feel guilty and bring them to action.
The first rhetorical strategy Kelley uses is logos, or an appeal to her audience’s logical side. She does this by presenting facts that support her argument. In the first paragraph, Kelley states that “two million children under the age of sixteen years” work to earn money. This statistic is meant to shock the audience and provide a factual foundation for her claim. Throughout the entire speech, Kelley mentions the laws in various states and regions of the United States that allows child labor. Society requires that citizens follow these laws, but Kelley’s denouncing them makes them appear illogical and makes the audience desire laws that are actually logical, as well as humane.
Kelley appeals to her audiences sense of humanity by using pathos, or emotional appeal. In her speech, she repeatedly uses phrases about little girls working while everybody else sleeps. This repetitian engraves the image in the audience’s mind and makes everyone feel guilty for letting this happen. Kelley draws on this sense of shame and states, “No one in this room can feel free from such participation” (line 65–66), calling all the guilty passive people to action. Kelley also uses hypothetical situations to create an image in the audience’s mind that is pitiful and horrifying. She mentions that a child will begin working on their birthday. The contrast between the happiness of a birthday and the harshness and severity of work shocks the audience. Kelley especially appeals to those in the crowd that have children of their own, making them think, “What if that was my child?”
Kelley’s speech seeks to awaken the audience to the widespread horrors of child labor. She uses logos in the form of factual statistics and state laws in order to appeal to people’s logical sides. She also uses pathos in the form of repetition and hypothetical situations to instill a sense of guilt in the audience and call them to action.
Florence Kelley fought all her life for women and children all across America. In this speech given before the National American Women Suffrage Association Kelley uses several rhetorical strategies to convince her audience such as logos,pathos, rhetorical questions, and the use of “we”. In this speech, this great woman pushes for the improved treatment of children in the workplace.
Florence Kelley starts of this speech a seemingly insignificant, yet incredibly powerful word we. This two letter word immediately couples her with everyone in her audience. She gives the listeners the sense that she herself is one of them. They all share an immediate bond, forming a connection that lasts through the entire speech. And Florence continues to use this strategy. “We can enlist the working men on behalf of our enfranchisement just in proportion as we strive with them to free the children. The use of “we” throughout her speech connects Florence Kelley to her audience.
Kelley uses a multitude of facts and laws that convey how real this situation is. “A good law was repealed which had required women and [children] to stop working at six in the evening and at noon on Friday.” She uses a mixture of logos and ethos in this context as a way to open the eyes of her audience to the issues facing society. She cites several laws in different states as examples to the problem that she strives to fix.
Florence Kelley then takes aim at people’s sensibilities and emotions. She employs pathos to great effect in convincing her audience to act immediately. “Tonight while we sleep, several thousand little girls will be working in textile mills, all the night through, in the deafening noise of the spindles and the looms spinning and weaving cotton and woo, silks and ribbons for us to buy.” This tear-provoking image would cause anyone but the mill owner himself to rise up in arms against this horrid oppression of innocent little children. Emotion is what drives most human action, and Kelley’s emotional manipulation is what makes her speech so successful in its goal to save the child workers.
Kelley then asks her audience a very simple, yet effective question. “Would the New Jersey Legislature have passed that shameful repeal bill enabling girls of fourteen years to work all night, if the mothers in New Jersey were enfranchised?” This use of a rhetorical question gets an immediate emotional response and is even a subliminal push for women’s suffrage as well. This evokes such an obvious response in the audience by begging the question.
Florence Kelley’s relentless drive to change the child labor laws all across America was made clear in this speech delivered on July 22, 1905 in Philadelphia. Kelley’s use of pathos, ethos, logos, and various other rhetorical devices make this speech easily one of the most influential aspects of the child labor movement. Florence Kelley forever changed our nation, and it all started with this speech.