As a United States social reformer and worker Florence Kelley has established ethos since the moment she began speaking and connects with her audience by making several statements where the collective pronoun “we” is used. She introduces her speech by stating that there are “two million children under the age of sixteen years who are earning their bread. ” Her tone as she introduces the topic is serious creating a solemn mood. She attacks several states, minus Alabama, and accuses them of “taking a long backward step” concerning the work hours that children worked.
Kelley’s tone and successful attempt at pathos work hand in hand. The image she projects when she speaks of “while we sleep and little white girls will be working together tonight in the mills” and to further strengthen the severity of this issue, while appealing to logos, she states that it is “several thousand little girls. ” The audience would feel depressed knowing that there are little girls that are working hard throughout the night in order to help their families.
Kelley uses the state of Alabama very intelligently by appealing to ethos, logos, and pathos all at once. She makes a very harsh attack towards the other states in saying that “Alabama provides that a child under sixteen years of age shall not work in a cotton mill at night longer than eight hours. ” In order to conclude her accusation she states “North and South Carolina and Georgia place no restriction” and personifies these states as disrespectful beings for they lack concern for the young.
In order to strengthen her argument, she adds the incident in New Jersey where “they took a long step backward” and increased both women and children’s work hours. She then targets the mothers and teachers of Georgia saying that “is they had the right to vote” they would have most likely refused to stop the work of children in the mills. She does not stop there. She continues to target the mothers of New Jersey and plants the images of the children who “braid the straw in our hats”, “knit our stockings”, “spin and weave our cotton underwear”, etc.
Here she appeals to pathos mainly towards the mothers and teachers who see the children as more than tools of labor and would wish for them to live a better life than “enjoy the pitiful privilege of working all night long. She then strongly ends her argument by connecting to her audience stating “We do not wish this. We prefer to have our work…. Powerless. ” She ends appealing to pathos on “freeing the children from toil” leaving the audience with the image of children working in the mills as though they were prisoners.