Speech analysis: Freedom or Death

7 July 2016

This speech is an argumentative discourse, pronounced by Emmeline Pankhurst, in November 1913, to present and intensify the need that women have to keep a combative spirit in order to give their free viewpoint and being part of public affairs on American society. The analyse is going to consider the historical significance of the speech and it is setting up the meaning or significance of it by clarifying for what specific reasons the speech was intended. In addition to this, it is analysing the goals of Pankhurst, the speech value, emotional appeals or morphosyntactic structure among others characteristics.

It takes place in Hartford, Connecticut, located next to Boston, cradle of American Revolution where had sparked first revolt which broke from British Empire, in 1783. She exploits that to suggest they should use this historical fact to evoke a successful reference which could be applied to the women’s suffragette struggle. At the end of 1913, when the speech is given, women’s vote is not yet obtained in England, it would have to wait fifteen years for granting all women the vote in the same terms as men.

Speech analysis: Freedom or Death Essay Example

In a similar way, this is not going to happen before 1920 in the United States of America with the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided the right of vote shall not be denied on account of sex. Before that takes effect, at the beginning of 1913, British suffrage movement had inspired The Woman Suffrage Parade which brought the issue of voting rights for women to the forefront of national discussion. At this time, suffragettes had many detractors. Emmeline Pankhurst was a woman from upper-class whose public activity began after founding Women’s Social and Political Union in favour of women rights as citizens.

She makes this speech after she had been released from prison a few days before in England after having been in jail because of the Cat and Mouse Act. Despite this opposition she kept going. It had been one of many political arrests she lives during her militancy because of the defence of gender equality. She address mainly American women by urging her to struggle in the purpose of making audible their claims. Women long to emancipation but in a male-dominated society where women were often brought up to identify with men, to see men’s views and rights as paramount, and so it’s not surprising that many women oppose their own liberation.

By the same token,there were a number of thriving anti-suffrage groups, she makes an unmistakable statement aimed at her opponents. She threaten them with not giving up on their objectives to death if that was necessary. She express disapproval of this law because of over the course of the militant campaign, around 1000 suffragettes were imprisoned in the United Kingdom and many went on hunger strike and had to contend with the torturous process of force feeding. Throughout the speech, it is being discussed the belief that women, as human beings, should not be excluded from political system.

Moreover, she justifies violent actions should be regarded and taking into account as a result of several government repressions. She shares more of her personal opinions in order to better express the importance of the American women’s participation to reach a particular goal, such as a change in laws and politics. It is a persuasive speech which try to change women attitude from a static position to a dynamic behaviour. It is recognizable that Pankhurst is willing to convince the hearer of her point of view.

Thus, she constructs a discourse by stating the problem, describing the current solution to the problem and offering her alternative solution. Furthermore, it is clear she have found out about the audience and their historical circumstances which help her to maintain some links between her speech and audience interests. According to technical analysis to persuade or influence the hearer, it could be considered the following tools used by Pankhurst: Rhythm is patterned for many keys. She uses long and subordinate sentences to

speak about subjective opinions and feelings , for instance, at the beginning of the speech, when she is making her position clear inside the suffragette movement. Nevertheless, she takes care of using short sentences which gives a fast-paced rhythm and avoids the dispersion and monotony, such as “They couldn’t vote the legislature out. They would have to choose. ” She uses short as well as long argumentative paragraphs which provide a varied rhythm. It is not used many of coordinating conjunction (and,but) to support the long sentences.

Instead of this, she tends to use relative pronouns which help to develop reasoning around her ideas, such as “I want to say to you who think women cannot succeed” or “there is a good deal of warfare for which men take a great deal of glorification which has involved more practical sacrifice on women than it has on any man. It always has been so “ She makes a great use of copulative verbs, e. g. “I am here”, “I do not come here”, “It has become”. which give it a declarative character.

Most of the discourse is told in the first person by making her own use of dialectic, she express quite clearly her own opinion with the pronoun I, equally, she uses we because it supports her aim about a more united movement. Also, it has been used the second person in order to make more personal involvements. It is remarkable that it is not used many adjectives which are used are objective and descriptive, having a tendency to specific adjectives like “British soil” Pankhurst uses the speech to compare the women’s vote movement to other national and international uprisings unrelated to her topic.

Consequently, she mentions the non-violent political protest such as the Boston Tea Party or the Chartism, a working-class movement for political reform in Britain. Otherwise, she uses powerful metaphors to lead the hearer to conclude that they should view suffering as an inevitable part of the battle, for instance, she identify the struggle as a noisy baby who wants to be fed. In the same way, she urges women to be clamorous with their own resources. Also, she applies a simile when she says “you cannont make omelettes without breaking eggs” with which she explains they can not accomplish in battle if they do not damage to something.

She uses a wide, cultivate and easy to understand vocabulary. With reference to express ideas, it is a distinctive speech which keep coherence. Every idea is strictly developed in every paragraph. In the speech, there are sentences that evoke strong emotions and feelings such as the headline “Freedom or death” or “they will have to choose between giving us freedom or giving us death” which want to inspire women to make a positive change despite radical oppositions .

In the conclusion, she achieve by the speech to make perfectly understandable why a current sacrifice is so important for the future women generations, even if it is ended in disaster. She also says that no matter how fierce struggle could be or how many times they were sabotaged, they have to keep going and succeed. After hearing the speech, you feel that it has been gained a hopeful and optimistic idea; there will be many of possibilities for women if they reach this rewarding objective in spite of enemies. This is a great war between any social class women against a legislation which wants to exclude women rights from laws.

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