Sojourner Truth Rhetorical Speech Essay

Topics: Woman, Question, Gender Pages: 3 (950 words) Published: May 19, 2013
In the year 1851, Sojourner Truth, an African American woman, delivered a speech at the Women’s Convention. Her speech went down in history with great influential value due to its rawness and motivation. She sent a powerful message to her audience that will never be forgotten. Addressing the hardships of being not only a woman in society during 1851 but also being a black woman. She uses personal experiences to deliver her message. Sojourner says, “women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and have the best place everywhere.” After describing the way how a man believes he should treat a woman she then says, “Nobody ever helps me into carriages or over mud-puddles, or gives me the best place!” She contrasts her argument because if men believe women should be treated with respect in a certain way, why is she, a woman, not receiving the same respect. This poses a great inconsistency with how men should treat women. Based solely on her skin color she is treated differently. Sojourner empowers the audience by repeating the question, “and ain’t I a woman?” By doing so, and repeating this rhetorical question she makes a commanding statement. She allows the women in the audience to feel empowered and motivates them. She compares her equality to men by saying, “Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman?” This statement shows how she believes that if she is able to do the same work as men shouldn’t she also be considered equal to them? The question “And ain’t I a woman?” delivers this statement she is trying to get across, each time with more emphasis. She then directly addresses the mothers listening to her by saying, “I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?” This allows her audience to relate to her on a more personal emotional level...
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