Sojourner Truth Digital Analysis

"Speech To The American Equal Rights Association"

Who, What, When, Where, Why?

The time that this speech was written took place on May 9, 1867 in New York City. The author is an eighty year old African American women. This woman said that she has the right to speak about certain things just as a man can.

The main idea of this reading would be for women to have rights in America. The overall idea of this selection is for women to have the ability to vote. Also for women to have the ability to speak for what they think is right. This would be called the freedom of speech. Another main idea is that if men get those rights but women don't then men will be masters over women. My overall impression of this selection would be that I believe in the main idea of this selection, and I think it was right to present the truth. My reaction would be that it made me think how wrong the laws were for women to have the ability to have the same rights as men.

The Main Idea

"I feel that if I have to answer for the deeds done in my body just as much as a man, I have a right to have just as much as a man.

There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before."

The freedom of speech

Equality and fairness

Same rights as men


Figurative Language

"We are going home. There, children, in heaven we shall rest from all our labors; first do all we have to do here. There I am determined to go, not to stop short of that beautiful place, and I do not mean to stop till I get there, and meet you there, too."

* Sojourn uses a metaphoric type of figurative language in this song at the end of her speech. She is using the phrase, "in heaven we shall rest from all our labors." She is using that phrase as an example to clarify that this earth should be free of unpaid labor. She explains that the beautiful place will be the place for everyone to meet in the future. Also the idea that this world will be a better place with freedom and equality.
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Rhetorical Devices

"I want you to consider on that, chil'n I call you chil'n; you are somebody's chil'n and I am old enough to be mother of all that is here. I want women to have their rights. In the courts women have no right, no voice; nobody speaks for them. I wish woman to have her voice there among the pettifoggers. If it is not a fit place for women, it is unfit for men to be there.

I am above eighty years old; it is about time for me to be going. I have been forty years a slave and forty years free, and would be here forty years more to have equal rights for all. I suppose I am kept here because something remains for me to do, I suppose I am yet to help to break the chain."

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* The use of repetition is present in these two paragraphs of the speech. The type of repetition would be conduplicatio. Sojourn describes what she expects for the future. She is expecting women to have their rights at some point in time. Also that she is an old woman, and is tired of the use of slavery. She states that she has been forty years a slave, and only forty years free.
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Author's Purpose

"I suppose I am about the only colored woman that goes about to speak for the rights of the colored women. I want to keep the thing stirring, now that the ice is cracked. What we want is a little money. You men know that you get as much again as women when you write, or for what you do. When we get our rights we shall not have to come to you for money, for then we shall have money enough in our own pockets; and may be you will ask us for money. But help us now until we get it. It is a good consolation to know that when we have got this battle once fought we shall not be coming to you any more. You have been having our rights so long, that you think, like a slave-holder, that you own us. I know that it is hard for one who has held the reins for so long to give up; it cuts like a knife. It will feel all the better when it closes up again. I have been in Washington about three years, seeing about these colored people. Now colored men have the right to vote. There ought to be equal rights now more than ever, since colored people have got their freedom."

Real World Connections

Slavery in the 1800's and Modern Prison System

* In the 1800's, slaves did not get paid for their work. This would relate to modern society in the prison system. In my opinion, I think that inmates should not be put to work without getting some sort of paycheck. Being locked up all day and being told what to do everyday would sort of relate to the real world we live in today. Slaves were put to work, and they were under control by their master or owner. With today's prison system, the head person of the prison or jail controls every inmate in that prison.
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