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Florence Kelley - Child Labor Speech

            Florence Kelley was a reformer fighting against child labor. Kelley delivered a speech at a National American Woman Suffrage Association convention in 1905 speaking against unfair child labor. The speech contained a bounty of logos and pathos, strong diction, exemplification, and compelling rhetorical questions. The Speech starts with statistics. Kelley talks about the "two million children under the age of sixteen years" who work most of their days away. She makes the reader feel guilty by addressing the children as "little girls" in the third paragraph; this is Kelley's style - begin with logos, end with pathos. Logos are scattered throughout the speech; statistics about wages, hours a child can work, average age of children working. These logos are often met with pathos to make the audience realize how inhumane it is for a "little girl" to be working so hard.
             Kelley achieves this pathos with a strong choice of diction. Kelley uses words such as "deafening" (line 20), "pitiful" (line 44), "shameful" (line 60), "evil" (live 65), and "robbed" (line 77) to convey the injustice of child labor. All of these words have very strong and negative connotations. Kelley makes it very clear by saying it is "evil" to have "little beats of burden robbed of school life that they may work for us." The speaker also paints a wonderful, yet saddening, picture for her audience. Kelley uses exemplification to describe scenarios in which "a girl of six or seven" is "just tall enough to reach the bobbins" is working all night while the adults are at home sleeping. Paragraph nine enumerates the items children make that adult wear, so no adult "can feel free from such participation" of evil. Paragraph seven ties in pathos, diction, and exemplification when the little girl leaves her home on her birthday to go work a night shift. .
             Kelley does not place her thesis in her first paragraph. She want her audience to decide for themselves what they believe is right and what they believe is wrong.

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