Abigail Adams & Sojourner Truth

1175 Words Oct 10th, 2010 5 Pages
Abigail Adams & Sojourner Truth I would like to introduce you to two women – one a quiet advocate for women’s rights; the other an outspoken advocate for abolition and suffrage; which of these women would have the biggest impact on history?

There was a vast difference in the lives of these two women. Abigail Adams grew up in a well-to-do family that was educated and financially comfortable while Sojourner Truth was born into a poor family of slaves, spoke only Dutch and was a slave herself for many years. Abigail Adams was known as the “Queen of the First Ladies”, supporting her husband (John Adams) through every phase of his rise to power; as first lady she maintained a mostly conservative stance, vigorously
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Her speech contains simple words and sentence structure. In fact, the appearance is given that she doesn't even remember the word "intellect" in "Ain't I a Woman." Whereas Abigail Adams' letters are dotted with sentences that have the correct structure, Sojourner Truth's sentences are straightforward and folksy. Abigail Adams' letters are literary; Sojourner's conversational. What may be most remarkable, however, is that despite these quite marked differences in style, language and tone, both Abigail Adams and Sojourner Truth are similarly effective in persuading their audiences through the use of contrasting levels of language.
Part of the reason for this effectiveness has to do with the audience toward which both women direct their words. Abigail's letters are, of course, directed to her husband John Adams, a man of education and renown and soon to be President. It is quite obvious that Abigail Adams is perfectly in tune with her husband's psyche from the manner in which she so successfully utilizes what no doubt was considered a primarily feminine means of persuasion at the time: flattery. It would perhaps have been enough for many men for Abigail Adams simply to attempt to convince her husband that she is intelligent and educated-like those French women she admires in one of her letters. But in her infinite insight into the partner, Abigail Adams seems to think that she must go beyond even that. And therefore Abigail pursues the path of drawing

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