Kelley Rhetorical Analysis

621 words - 3 pages

In Florence Kelley's speech to the people attending the NAWSA convention, she uses emotional appeal to motivate her audience to convince their male counterparts to legalize voting for women, and also to persuade the males to help put an end to child labor.
In the first paragraph, Kelley explains the ages of these labor-bearing children by saying that “they very in age from six...sixteen in more enlightened states.” The use of “enlightened” is purely sarcastic, and the speaker does not have any respect for those states that allow sixteen year old girls to do heavy-labor. For anyone in the audience that knows the literal definition of “enlightened,” they, too, would be squirming in their seats at the thought of child labor, even at sixteen years of age, being “enlightening.” In her fourth paragraph, she touches more on “enlightened” states by talking about Alabama. She uses “child[ren] under sixteen.. shall not work in a cotton mill at night longer than 8 hours,” and then says that Alabama “does better... than any other southern state,” to again show her sarcasm towards these states that seem to think their laws are more humane and child-friendly than the others when it comes to child labor laws. By picking at the laws of other states, and explaining the ages of these innocent children and hours that they work, it creates a discomfort within the audience. The speaker also uses imagery to rev her audience up.
When Kelley explains the conditions of working for these children, she vividly depicts what it is like. While in the textile mills, while men and women are cozy in their beds, “while we sleep,” little girls will be working “in the deafening noise of the spindles.” In the first part, Kelley starts off her sentence by telling her audience that they are sleeping while these little...

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