Summary Of The Speech Of Miss Polly Baker

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Ben Franklin is known for a slew of accomplishments in his life as a Founding Father of the United States. An inventor and author, among other occupations, Ben Franklin grew quite a fan base in his lifetime, despite having such progressive beliefs. One of his most progressive pieces of writing, “The Speech of Miss Polly Baker,” discusses the inequality surrounding laws against having children outside of marriage, specifically regarding how it impacted women. In Benjamin Franklin’s “The Speech of Miss Polly Baker,” Franklin uses wit to effectively argue that the sexist punishments of laws against having children out of wedlock are absurd by appealing to the reader’s ethos, logos, and pathos through the voice of Polly Baker (Franklin, 242-44).
Ben Franklin appeals to the reader’s ethos by having Polly reference her character and her similar beliefs with the judge. On numerous occasions, Polly touts her character to the judge in order to establish trust which, in turn, establishes trust with the reader. She states that she has lived an “inoffensive life” and asks for the judge to ask her enemies if she has ever harmed a soul, for she does not believe she has (Franklin, 242). Polly also only uses polite terms to reference the judge, though this can also be seen as a light form of mocking from Ben Franklin, as she always calls him “Honourable” when she also disagrees with him fervently (242). Moreover, Polly references the past four times she has been sentenced and how she has

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