“Tonight “our” to convey child labor as

“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 wool, silks, and ribbons for us to buy” (Kelley 18). Florence Kelley was a United States social worker and reformer who delivered defense for child labor laws and working women by delivering a speech at the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention. In using repetition, the three pillars of rhetoric, and diction Kelley displays the unethical accounts of child labor, while promoting change to the audience. Throughout the speech Kelley uses repetition of phrases and words to enhance the cruelty of child labor and bring change within the audience. For example, Kelley uses the phrase “while we sleep” throughout her speech. This particular construction being brought into context draws the audience’s attention to the issue of child labor and gives basis on the message Kelley is portraying.

Furthermore, Kelley uses anastrophe or repetition of the same word, “we” and “our” to convey child labor as a problem that can only be solved using unity. For example, “The children make our shoes in the shoes factories; they knit our stockings, our knitted underwear in the knitting factories. They spin and weave out cotton underwear in the cotton mills. Children braid straw for our hats, they spin and weave the silk and velvet wherewith we trim our hats” This quote institutes all people into the issue of child labor while presenting a call to change.

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In conclusion, Kelley in using repetition of words and phrases initiates the audience within the issue itself while commanding a call to action. Another major rhetorical strategy that Kelley uses to display an effective argument regarding child labor is the three pillars of rhetoric. Kelley uses pathos, logos, and ethos to provide influence upon the audience and the message they are receiving. Ethos in the speech is Kelley’s factual evidence that contributes to her credibility. For example “In this country, two million children under the age of sixteen years who are earning their break.

They vary in age from six and seven years (in the cotton mills of Georgia) and eight, nine and ten years (in the coal-breakers in Pennsylvania), to fourteen, fifteen and sixteen years in more enlightened states” (Kelley 1) This quote is in relation to ethos because of the contributing factual evidence that concludes that Kelley was educated and is a credible source. Secondly, Kelley uses pathos to relate to the audience in a emotional context. For example “A little girl, on her thirteenth birthday, could stay away from her home a half past five in the afternoon, carrying her pail of midnight luncheon, and happier people carry their mid day luncheon, and could work in the mill from sic at night until six in the morning, without violating any law of the Commonwealth” (Kelley 50). This quote puts emphasis on innocence and inserts guilt or sympathy into the audience allowing support for the cause.

Lastly, Kelley uses logos to intellectually and factually bring the audience into her conclusions on child labor. For example, “If the mothers and the teachers in Georgia could vote, would the Georgia Legislature have refused at every session for the last three years to stop the work in the mills of children under twelve years of age?” (Kelley 55).  Kelley by using questions in her speech allows the audience to imply logic to answer the question. In conclusion, Kelley’s speech for child labor laws is emphasised by the rhetorical structures of the three pillars of rhetoric.

The final major rhetorical strategy that Kelley uses the display her views and call to action is diction. Kelley in her speech uses oxymoron to enhance the message that connects with the audience. For example, “..

free our consciences from participation in this great evil” (Kelley 44-45). In this quote Kelley portrays sarcasm and irony to better convey her message on child labor. Secondly, Kelley uses personification to enhance the information and spread her information in a more efficient way.

For example, “Last year, New Jersey took a long backward step” (Kelley 39). This quote depicts New Jersey with human qualities allowing the audience to relate the text to actual factual evidence. In conclusion, Kelley uses diction to express her message on child labor in a more effective way.

In end, Kelley’s use of rhetorical strategy conveyed her points on child labor in a accurate and detailed way. By using  repetition, the three pillars of rhetoric, and diction Kelley was able to back her claim and explain a call to action. This speech gave hope and renewal to those fighting for justice and gave inspiration to those who now would step up for the cause.


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