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  • Topic: Law, Audience, Audience theory
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  • Published : November 8, 2012
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Florence Kelley’s Persuasion of Child Labor Laws
A once hot topic became a now law-enforced face. Child labor has been a controversial issue and Florence Kelley was one of the many protestors that brought success to the child labor laws. She was an avid fighter and was not only against child labor laws but also woman’s suffrage. On July 22, 1905, Kelley gave and impeccable speech at the Convention of National American Woman Suffrage Association in Philadelphia about child labor laws. To successively persuade her listeners, Kelley used versatile amounts of strategies, ranging from repetition of key words, to ethical appeal and even inserting political allusions. Florence Kelley utilized persuasive techniques to convey her message that she is dearly passionate about.

Kelley used repetition in her speech to show that children are deprived from sleep and that they work the least favored shifts because of their age. “Tonight while we sleep...all the night through…tonight in the mills…tonight, while we sleep…all the night through.” Kelley reiterates the words night and tonight to lay guilt over the audiences’ hearts. One can infer that she is trying to shed light on the fact that adults are sleeping idly and comfortably while the children are hard at work. Furthermore, Kelley tries to personalize the situation by uniting herself and the audience, as a whole, as “we”. “We do not… we prefer…But we are…we do to…we can do…,” she abuses the common pronoun “we”, in order to not only unify the audience and herself but also to show everyone is at par with each other; moreover, this shows that Kelley isn’t blaming anyone but rather exerting the issue to educate and persuade the audience about this ongoing situation.

As an active protestor, Kelley knows and uses political allusions in order to give the audience hard facts in order to strengthen her point of view and show her passion for this issue. Alabama and New Jersey have a very young and short hour restriction in the...
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