Florence Kelley's Speech on Child Labor: Rhetorical Devices Used

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Florence Kelley
During the National American Suffrage Association in Philadelphia on 1905, Florence Kelley uses several rhetorical devices to convey her message concerning child labor to her audience.
In the beginning of her speech, Kelley states,” two million children under the age of sixteen years are earning bread,” in order to create an emotional appeal that would urge these women to feel sorrow for the children that have to work so late at nights. In order to keep her audience caring for the children, Kelley states, “Several thousand little girls will be working in textile mills, all the night through, in the deafening noise of the spindles” this creates a sense of sympathy towards the children. The women are now beginning to feel sorrow for those” several thousand little girls” who have to work at extreme late hours at night. The word “thousands” is massive number that attaches to the audiences brains that causes the women to feel more sorrow concerning the children’s working conditions. During the midsection of the speech Kelley uses oxymoron in order to keep her audience attention and to keep her audience motivated but the most importantly to make her audience remember her speech. When Kelley refers to the “enlightened states” and the pitiful privilege of working all night long” is to make sure that even after they arrive at their homes they will still remember what was said in the conference. Since what was mentioned was a bit peculiar, the women would keep this reference in their minds in order for them to share it with other women. The funny occurrences and references mentioned in the speech are more difficult to forget, therefore when something funny is mentioned the audience would remember something that made them giggle or laugh. Towards the end of Kelley’s speech she uses repetition in order to create a connection between the audience and the speaker because if the audience is emotionally and mentally connected to the speaker Kelley,

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