On Women’s Right to Vote, Essay Example

  1. Logos is a component of rhetoric that refers to persuade by the use of reasoning. In this speech, Susan B. Anthony uses a combination of logic and reasoning several times in order to emphasize her point. Specifically she says, “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” (Anthony). By doing so, she cites an exact phrase that was used in the constitution of the United States and applied it to suffrage. Many people are familiar with the constitution, so many people will understand her point by drawing this connection; the constitution applies to people as a whole, not just men, so women deserve the same rights that men are given.
  2. Ethos refers to the credibility of the speaker. Susan B. Anthony uses ethos when she says “Webster, Worcester, and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a person in the United States, entitled to vote and hold office” (Anthony). By doing so, she cites credible men who hold the same belief regarding the definition of a “citizen”. Although I am uncertain who these three are, it is likely that they were meaningful figures in 1873 who listeners to Anthony’s speech respected and valued their opinions.
  3. Pathos is persuasion through emotion. There is no specific quote in this speech that can be used to analyze Susan B. Anthony’s use of pathos. Rather, we expect that when she recited this speech, the pathos was detected in her tone. Since she is passionate about women’s rights, she likely accomplished pathos in the way she said these words, rather than the specifics of what she said.
  4. I believe that Anthony’s primary audience was the people in court during her trial; specifically, the men and women who believed that women should be afforded equal rights but who hadn’t made any physical actions to support the cause. She appeals to this audience when she says “I not only committed no crime”, “denied the use… the ballot”, and “oligarchy of sex… home of the nation”. In these parts of the speech she emphasizes unfair treatment of women and demonstrates how they are being treated as inferior. In doing so, she persuades the audience that voting is the only way to start treating women as equals.

When Susan B. Anthony says, “I not only committed no crime… state to deny” she appeals to the audience by comparing women’s rights to human rights. To support this argument, she uses the Constitution as a source of information because everyone in the courthouse is expected to be aware of the words it contains. By saying this sentence, Anthony essentials says that women aren’t being treated as human despite the fact that the constitution should protect the rights of all people in this country. This is an example of ethos because she uses a credible source.

When Susan B. Anthony says, “denied the use… the ballot”, she appeals to the audience by using a specific example that supports the statement discussed above. This is an example of pathos because she uses her voting story to evoke emotion from the audience.

When Susan B. Anthony says “oligarchy of sex… home of the nation”, she appeals to the audience by comparing small group rule in this case of a male dominated to society to atrocities that have occurred in other countries such as Africa. This is also an example of pathos because Anthony wants to feel the same negative feelings they do about Saxon rule in Africa as they do about women not having any power in the United States.

Works Cited

Anthony, Susan B. “On Women’s Right to Vote”. 1873.