Florence Kelley, a dedicated advocate of labor laws during the United States’ early 20th century. She was successful in her fight for child labor laws. Kelley used rhetorical strategy to make her case for child labor laws in a 1905 speech. She used pathos and logos to convey her message.

Florence Kelley relies on pathos to make her point about the need for labor laws that protect children. She used pathos as a way to connect with her audience. Kelley outlined in detail such events as a teenage girl who worked long hours in dangerous conditions in a textile mill. Florence Kelley used such details to move and stir the emotions of her audience. Kelley uses descriptive language in order to give the audience a sense of how children suffer from long hours at work. Kelley described the children as “tiny children who make artificial flowers under the sweating machine” and as “little beasts robbed their education to work for our company.” She hoped parents and workers alike would realize they had failed children and start to change things.

Florence Kelley employed logos (logic) as another rhetorical technique. Florence Kelley used harsh facts in her speech to make the point that laws against child labor are needed. She used harsh facts to emphasize her message that child labor laws need to be passed. Her use of logos can also be seen in the way she describes places like Georgia that have no restrictions on child labor. When she described the conditions of children in factories, or anywhere else they worked, using logic and facts made her argument seem more plausible. Her argument became more credible and reasonable as the audience became convinced.

Florence Kelley, in her third paragraph, uses the phrase “While We Sleep …”” to remind the audience that children were “working 11 hours a day” all across the country while they slept. This will cause the audience to think of those children as they prepare for bed. The 2 million kids would be brought to mind, who were only forced to work due the lack of laws protecting child labour. Kelley hoped that the memory of these children would linger on the minds and hearts of the audience. This will encourage them to start taking action to improve working conditions for the children.

Florence Kelley delivered a very well-written and detailed speech. She used several rhetorical strategies to make the speech more effective and communicate her message. These included pathos (emotion), logos (logic), and repetition. Kelley successfully persuaded women by using facts, logical arguments, and emotional appeals. Kelley likely influenced women’s votes for child labour laws after they got the vote.


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    I'm Owen Barrett, a 31-year-old educational blogger and traveler. I enjoy writing about the places I've visited and sharing educational content about travel and culture. When I'm not writing or traveling, I like spending time with my family and friends.