Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Judy Seyfers Brady use a variety of rhetorical devices to sway their audiences. Each woman has a distinct style‒ Brady is satirical and frequently uses hyperbole in I Want a Wife, while Stanton is more formal and employs the ethos of the American Revolution in The Declaration of Sentiments. Overall, their pieces attack men by stating the offenses that men have committed, and declare their opposition to the offenses. They also highlight the oppression and the burden that men place on them and call for greater equality.
In I Want a Wife, Brady highlights the oppressive nature that women must endure. She describes a stereotypical housewife, and lists the chores and tasks that are expected of her one after another. Brady structures the piece for maximum effect. The fast paced, repetitive structure of her piece adds to her point that the burden of a wife is never ending. She also introduces the piece by examining the actions of a male friend, who ...view middle of the document...
Also, the short length of the paragraph gives the impression that men don’t want to consider any other thoughts besides their own. The briefness makes the ‘wants’ seem more like demands. Brady uses this hyperbole to good effect‒ most women aren’t subject to all the tasks that Brady describes, and not all men are as demanding, but some certainly are. There is some truth in her exaggerations, adding to the humor of the piece, and to the gravity of the point she wishes to bring to light.
In the Declaration of Sentiments, Elizabeth Cady Stanton uses the model of the Declaration of Independence to further the cause of women’s equality. Stanton calls upon the ideals of the American Revolution‒ freedom, equality, and justice. The colonies declared independence because they felt unfairly oppressed, had no voice, and no rights. By modeling her declaration off of the Declaration of Independence, Stanton is claiming that women are fighting for the same ideals. Similarly, they are being oppressed, not by the British, but by men. Whereas the Declaration of Independence had justified the reasons for which Americans could revolt against their oppressors, Stanton justifies the reasons for which women should revolt against the oppression of men. She claims that men have taken women’s rights to life, liberty and property‒ the same rights that the Founding Fathers of America were fighting and dying for. By doing this, Stanton shows the hypocrisy present. A nation from its birth that was based off the ideals of freedom and equality should not still have so much inequality present. Also, Stanton illustrates that most of the oppression in the world is caused by men. Stanton not only uses the anaphora of ‘he’ to model the Declaration of Independence, but to show that the oppressor of the colonies was a man, just as the oppressors of women are men.
Stanton and Brady not only use their words to sway their audiences, but also employ various rhetorical techniques, such as anaphora, ethos, satire and hyperbole. The design of their respective pieces may be different, but they achieve their purpose. They combine these techniques to try and fight for greater equality and against the oppression of men.