Many rhetorical strategies are being used such as repetition, personification, and logos to help support Florence Kelley’s speech about child labor and women’s right to vote. In this speech, she addresses to the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention in Philadelphia about being against child labor and supporting for women to be able to vote. The working class are the ones who are being the most affected in this situation. The point of this speech was that Kelley wanted people to vote against child labor by giving information and facts on what is going on with the children who are working in 1905. As the speech progress, many rhetorical strategies are being used to convey on how she wanted to describe her message about child labor to her audience.
In the speech, Kelley’s message that she wanted to give was presented by using repetition. Kelley’s idea was to use repetition to transfer her message about child labor by drawing attention that her words are being repeated and for it is a simple idea. An example of this is “Men increase, women increase, youth increase, boys increase in the ranks of the breadwinners…” (Kelley 10-12) In this quote, Kelley uses repetition in the beginning of her speech to focus on the point that all of these groups did increase. The most that drastically increased out of these were the young girls that have to work. The uses of repetition was also being used in a phrase of this speech. “Tonight while we sleep, several thousand little girls” and “while we sleep little white girls will be working tonight in the mills.” (Kelley 18, 29, 35) With the phrase “while we sleep” being repeated over and over again, the audience’s attention has been captured. It almost turns the issue of child labor into an emotional situation in which we pity all the work that they must do while others do nothing because of their social status in 1905. Another use of repetition are the pronouns ‘we’ and ‘our’ are being repeated again and it definitely helps her in emphasizing her point. “The children make our shoes in the shoe factories; they knit our stockings, our knitted underwear in the knitting factories. They spin and weave our cotton underwear in the cotton mills.” (Kelley 66-69) It makes the audience think of how they receive their belongings and this thought process is just a simple step in Kelley’s plan to get the people involved for the right causes.
Some rhetorical strategy that Kelley uses is messaged by using personification. She uses this to transfer her message about child labor by giving the states human like qualities. “Alabama does better than New Jersey…; Last year New Jersey took a long backward step.” (Kelley 37, 40) The states appear human-like to represent the population of New Jersey that is taking a step back while child labor laws are still going on. With Kelley comparing the states and human qualities for her speech, it shows that she knows what she is talking about. It is clear that she has done her research and that she knows the laws to be a reliable source for her audience. Strengthening her trustworthiness helps Kelley to send her message by justifying that her argument is supported by evidence, facts, and her knowledge.
The last rhetorical strategy Kelley used was the use of logos appeal for her speech. She addresses the audience on how they can change about child labor and women has the right to vote by making the audience think about it logically. “If mothers and the teachers in Georgia could vote would the Georgia Legislature refused at every session for the last three years to stop the work in the mills if children under twelve years of age?…” (Kelley 55-63) She questions the logical appeal of who gets the opportunity to vote and how she is against child labor. When Kelley does this in a row, it definitely has an effect on the audience because they have to think about it longer and logically to understand what she is trying to portray.
In conclusion, Florence Kelley uses many rhetorical strategies to help her claim on how she is against child labor and that the women has the right to vote in 1905. She supported her claims by using many examples and she makes her audience think about her claims logically. Kelley makes us trust her more because of how she can support her evidence by proving that her argument is true and is only facts.