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Sojourner Truth- Ain’t I A Woman Essay, Research Paper In 1851, many Northern clergymen and Christian women who were members of a liberal and progressive society met to hear this famous speech by

Sojourner Truth- Ain’t I A Woman Essay, Research Paper

In 1851, many Northern clergymen and Christian women who were members

of a liberal and progressive society met to hear this famous speech by

Sojourner Truth. She believed that women should be active members of

society; that they leave their private spheres and face the world. She also

believed strongly that women should be entitled to the same rights and

privileges that men had at that time. She was so bold in her speaking that it

has been said at a conference one man proclaimed, there is no way this could

be a woman, because only a man can speak like that. Subsequently, she

proceeded to rip open her shirt and show that she really was a woman after

all. This proved women could speak publicly just as well as men.

She begins this speech with calling her audience children; not because

she thought highly of herself or of her intellect for that matter. She was

incredibly straight-forward and blunt. She may have referred to them as

children because she was an older woman and had been through many trials.

They were also bickering and had much to learn from someone with wisdom.

Her down-home attitude was reflected in her dialogue, which was not quite

what one would call standard English. It just showed her audience her beliefs

had come from experience, not schooling. She was there to inform them of

the conflict that she felt was very apparent.

Because she wouldn t wish to contradict her own arguments, to prove

her point more effectively, she listed examples that she felt contradicted each

other. Men said women were too delicate; they must be over protected. This

was a contradiction to the conditions she faced while she was a slave. At one

point, she rolled up her sleeve to showed off her muscles; this was to prove

that she was as strong as any man.

To appeal to the audiences logic she cleverly yet humorously uses

examples from the Bible. She points out, Christ came from God and a

woman, and man had nothing to do with Him! To boost her credibility, she

also uses Eve as an example. God made Eve strong enough to turn the

world upside down, so why could not all the women now turn it right side

up?

Many members of her audience also connected with her message

emotionally. She spoke about having to watch her children being sold to

slavery. It must have struck a chord to any mother in the audience because if

they thought of themselves being in that situation, they would sympathize

with her. At another point she called a member in the audience honey.

By using specific examples she made her message more personal. The

way she carried herself and spoke brought one to feel as if one were a friend

or family member, rather than a stranger. Ending with a down home tone, yet

being quick to the point, she thanks the audience for listening to her and

says, Now old Sojourner ain t got nothing more to say.

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