Aren't I a Woman

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Morgan Angus
Seminar Alternate
Aren’t I a Women?
Sojourner Truth became the strongest symbol of African American women during an era where both sexism and racism were prominent issues. Her life was not easy. She was sold into slavery several times. Her family and friends were constantly taken away from her and sold into slavery. Sojourner Truth’s use of appeals, repetition, and rhetorical questions in her speech “Aren’t I a Women?” illuminates her women’s rights argument. Truth establishes ethos, or credibility, through her strong presence to the reader. She talks to a man in the speech who says women cannot be equal to men because “Christ wasn’t a woman” (424). As she makes a strong point about where God came from in the first place, she points out that this man’s statement is asinine. Truth speaks from the experience of a former slave woman. It is hard to deny the credibility of someone who has lived through the two worst historical experiences of this time period. She also employs pathos to illustrate emotion in her words. She has seen all thirteen of the children she birthed into this world sold into slavery and she “cried with a mother’s grief” (423).Though I have not experienced that sort of heart ache I can only imagine how I would feel in that situation. Appeals is one rhetorical technique that made Truth’s speech hit home to so many people’s hearts. Along with appeals Truth implements repetition to illustrate a strong understanding of the fact that she is a woman. She uses repetition of the phrase “Aren’t I a Woman” (423-424 normally coming after any sentence where she uses “Aren’t I a Woman”(423-424) as her closing argument to the sentence. She says “ man could head me-and aren’t I a women?” (424) talking about all the stuff she has done by herself and no man could help her. She uses this repetition as a tool to make you think about why there are so many differences between men and women. Her point is well taken. Though she...
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