Neo-Aristotelean Criticism of Susan B. Anothony's Speech on Women Rights

Essay by Elixirfruit39University, Bachelor'sA-, October 2006

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Susan B. Anthony delivered the women's suffrage speech in Monroe County, New York in 1873. At one level, the speech was a factual account of her personal experiences and what seemed to be a never ending war to grant women suffrage. Anthony intended to inform others, especially women that the existing inequality at the time was not supported by the Fourteenth Amendment and that women were being treated unfairly by the government.

However, the women's suffrage speech delivered by Anthony was more than just a speech. As impossible and insane as her purpose might have been seen as at that time, this speech was a stepping stone to what lead us to women's suffrage in 1920, the opening of more jobs to women and the "equality" of women to men. As with any of Anthony's other speeches, it had a definite persuasive purpose, in this case it was to draw all women and other male citizens together to fight for a cause.

Anthony's speech went form recounting her personal story of being arrested for voting during the election to questioning the government's inability to consider women as people.

Susan B. Anthony's previous credibility had been established through her social work. She was also an educated woman who had held several positions in education and who had founded the Daughters of Temperance Society. Anthony had been working non stop for suffrage for several years and as proof of her hard work, the New York State legislature passed the Married Women's property Act in 1860, allowing women to enter in contracts and to control their earnings and property.

The purpose of this essay is to analyze the rhetoric of the speech on women's suffrage given by Susan B. Anthony. How did Anthony use rhetoric to convince her public that equality must...