Elizabeth Cady Stanton, along with many other women, jumped into a convention on a day to all fight for a common cause; their human rights. At the first Woman’s Rights convention, Stanton gave a powerful speech that influenced the fight for the cause to be even stronger. Through Stanton’s use of rhetorical devices such as emotional, logical, and ethical appeals, she was able to win her own point for women’s rights, change the opinions of many people, and persuade people to follow her ideas.
Stanton argues many legitimate points with important effect. Throughout her speech, she uses many examples of logical appeals. She states, “The question is now: how shall we get possession of what rightfully belongs to us?” In this quote, Stanton disturbs the question of when women are going to get not only the rights they deserve, but also the equality they demand in society. She dishonors the rules that they live under, and questioning when things will be set morally right. She also argues, “All white men in this country have the same rights, however they may differ in mind, body, or estate.”
All white men in the United States at this time had freedom no matter what they owned or what their background is. They could be rich, wealthy businessmen or poor farmers, and as much as they were separated in society standards, they all shared one common thing: their rights. She is making an emotional appeal to the women of the country, and exposing the anger of the unfair situation the women are trapped in. One of the important phrases she repeats is, “The right is ours.” Stanton repeats this short, yet powerful, phrase in order to get her message through the ears of the audience. She believes and fights that all free women should be just as equal as all free men.
Protesting “Among the many questions which have been brought before the public, there is none that more vitally affects the whole human family than that which is technically termed Woman’s rights.” In her speech Stanton displays her amazing ability to influence public opinion by appropriating ideas from her sources, establishing her credibility, appealing to the audience’s logic, and refer to the emotional features of women’s right to vote in this era. Stanton used her ability to relate with the women with emotion and the universal position that they shared. Stanton said “The right is ours. Have it, we must. Use it, we will.” In this quote, Stanton emphasizes a sense of unity, which introduces to women a sense of assurance that they are not alone and that together they can achieve what is rightfully theirs.
Women were denied basic human rights that influence how they lived every day; “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.” However, it must be difficult that not only is it okay to give all humans all of their rights, it is also logical. In Stanton’s statement “He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.”
Through a list of the facts, Stanton captures the audience by using sense of pathos. The audience of women would likely have identified with each injustice on a personal level. They would have understood how women are tolerated through an oppressive system of patriarchy, strict marriage laws, and deprivement . The use of words Stanton such as “oppressed” and “dead” would have inspired her audience as they can relate to those words in a deep sense. In a final appeal to pathos, Stanton engages emotional diction to draw attention to the systematic oppression of women and the effects of the aforementioned unfairness.
Without the basic rights to vote, to financially support oneself, and to make decisions regarding their marriage, women are “aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived. Stating the quote “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man” Stanton establishes her credibility and appeals to the ethos of her audience by mirroring the structure and diction of the “Declaration of Sentiments” to refer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Stanton calls for her beliefs of women’s rights by appealing to logic “To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.” By submitting her facts to the “candid world,” Stanton suggests that her audience is fair and unbiased, having never witnessed such an unknown moment in the history of women’s rights.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote this declaration in a controversial era in the United States history. She knew that one day her beliefs would become a reality. She knew that women soon will be in the equal standards as men in America for future generations to come. She wrote to her fellow Americans, men and women, in desperation hop to give all women the same status as men in all aspects of rights and control.