AP Eng. Lang.
20 January 2015
Rhetorical Analysis: Child Labor Child labor was once a prevalent issue in the United States – a combination of cruelty, coercion, and abuse characterizes its entirety. Fortunately, many organizations, such as the National American Woman Suffrage Association, made attempts at alleviating the issue in hopes of eliminating the institution. Surprisingly, it was mutually beneficial to the organizations and the child laborers in that in order to help child labor, women needed to work for their suffrage. Suffrage would allow for women to have more power, and, therefore, more say in issues such as that of child labor. Florence Kelley, a member of the organization, presented a speech before a convention that outlined child labor, presented to persuade many fellow activists to pursue change. Within her speech, using a combination of powerful pathos and vivid imagery, Kelley effectively detailed the issue of child labor and pushed for reform and ultimately the freedom of child laborers. Pathos, defined as an appeal to emotion, permeates throughout Kelley's speech and is a recurring theme throughout. She effectively uses the pronoun “we” in several instances, explaining that “[they] have, in this country, two million children under the age of sixteen years who are earning their bread.” The accompanying effect presents that this is not only an emotional appeal, but additionally describes a general sense of unity between Kelley and her audience; essentially, they're all in it together, as one homogenous entity. Furthermore, the rhetorical question, “If mothers and teachers in Georgia could vote... under twelve years of age?” further bolsters upon the general feeling of emotion and unity – the majority at the convention are likely to have been women – which goes back to the relationship between woman's suffrage and child labor. In the midst of this pathos, a separate crucial element plays a key role in conveying