The Children's Era by Margaret Sanger: Summary
“The Children’s Era” was delivered in 1925 and was written to promote the use of birth control. Sanger says, “When we point out the one immediate practical way toward order and beauty in society, the only way to lay the foundations of a society composed of happy children, happy women, and happy men, they call this idea indecent and immoral.” Sanger tries to make her audience understand that too many children are born to parents who are ill prepared for them and/ or don’t want them, thus setting these children up for failure from the beginning. Sanger points out that many of these children will end up in “the ever- growing institutions for the unfit” or “behind the bars of jails and prisons” because they will be raised by parents who don’t care enough about them to give them a proper upbringing or cannot afford to give them a proper upbringing. Directed towards any woman of the time, mainly and anyone else who would listen, Sanger was able to target her audience.
Sanger heavily relies on the use of figurative language to make her speech a success. When “The Children’s Era” was delivered much of the population still worked in the farming industry. Early in Sanger’s speech she gives an analogy about gardening to represent the time and effort that goes into raising and caring for a child. Sanger states, “Before you can cultivate a garden, you must know something about gardening. …we must first of all learn the lesson of the gardener.” “And always -- do not forget this -- you have got to fight weeds. You cannot have a garden, if you let weeds overrun it.” (The Eloquent Woman, 2013) In the gardening analogy Sanger is using ethos combined with figurative language to get her point across. Sanger demonstrates her knowledge of gardening which is relatable to her audience, and then cleverly makes them realize how the two seemingly unconnected tasks are indeed similar. Sanger uses ethos
References: Edchange. (2013, 02 07). Retrieved from http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/speeches/margaret_sanger_children.html PBS. (2013, 02 07). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/peopleevents/p_sanger.html The Eloquent Woman. (2013, 02 07). Retrieved from http://eloquentwoman.blogspot.com/2011/05/famous-speech-friday-margaret-sanger.html