Critical Analysis Of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Solitude Of Self

Decent Essays

Up until the 19th century, women and men were assigned to domestic spheres. Men belonged to the public sphere, where they had the freedom to speak publicly, engage in government activities, and be the financial breadwinners to support their families. The private sphere belonged to the woman. They were limited to solely tending to their home, husbands, and raising their children. This imbalance of roles was deemed unfair and over time individuals spoke out about issues of women’s rights and gender equality. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a leading figure of the Women’s Rights Movement communicated her ideals in “The Solitude of Self”. Stanton establishes a dark tone by strategically using metaphors, repetition, and analogies to convey to her audience of just how deserving a woman is of her own independence. Before Stanton begins her oration, one could assume that it is just another plea for woman’s suffrage. Stanton instead opens it in a way that most would not expect: by touching on human life and mortality. By arranging her speech this way, she sets up life as a tragic experience, ultimately constructing the speech differently from what the audience has heard before. The audience then has the ability to think more intuitively about fate. Stanton first zeroes in on the human journey of life. Emphasizing that life is a sole journey that human a being must take alone. Stanton creates a relationship by comparing humans to a ship. Like ships, men and women are the bodies sail through

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