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Susan B. Anthony's Speech

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Back in the early 1870s, women, in general, had limited opportunities and freedom of expression in comparison today’s age of accepting and allowing voices to be heard. One of the many women within this time who felt strongly about this was a woman by the name of Susan B. Anthony. She did everything to let her voice be heard. In refusal of allowing her voice to be silenced, she wrote a speech that shook the public to open their eyes in a greater light. A speech that is still appreciated to this very day. Let’s go back to the presidential election of 1872. Taking place on November 5, 1872, one of the highest recognized elections in American history.

The sole purpose or those running for the ballet wasn’t what caught one’s eye, but what Susan B. Anthony out of all people have done. At the time, women did not have the legal right to vote as the men did, but that did not stop her. Casting an illegal vote in the election, soon being found out and arrested and was tired then fined $100, but refused to pay. Sparking a flame in Susan to speak out, as a woman and as an American citizen. This birthing her “On Women’s Right to Vote” speech. Her speech provided a closer perspective to women’s standing in society and should be given just as much equality as the men. Susan uses the American Constitution to back up her claims that, if women aren’t given the same level of respect to even vote this will, in fact, cause a rebellion in every household. Susan states, “It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.” speaking of all humans in, not just the men. As the quote, “We the people” is stated in the preamble this allows the idea of “the people” to be given certain rights. She then argues that women are, in fact, people as well. Who should not in any way be ignored. In Susan B. Anthony’s speech, she uses language that creates a literal effect.

In the last sentence in her first paragraph, she uses a sense of personification in the line, “Beyond of any state to deny”. Stating that the state itself does have the overall power, knowing that she meant to describe those collective individuals from that state. As those are the ones who have the power, not the state. In the next given line that states, “not the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity.” is the use of Hyperbole. As she is not speaking of half of an individual, but half of an overall nation. Mainly focusing on the male domination in this. But this definitely creates an effect on her point. Furthermore, Susan B. Anthony was one of the first few female activists of this time that spoke in defense of both women and fair rights. She wanted the public to be aware of the frustrations women had to go through even when the Constitution even backed her up in her claims. Susan’s goal in creating this speech was to importantly created a change in the system. Change in perspective, as well as a change in how equality was nonexistence. She believed in what was much needed, for both women and society as a whole.

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Susan B. Anthony’s Speech. (2019, August 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from
“Susan B. Anthony’s Speech.” GradesFixer, 08 Aug. 2019,
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