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Neo-Aristotelian Analysis of Stanton's "The Solitude of Self."

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Rachel West

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of Neo-Aristotelian Analysis of Stanton's "The Solitude of Self."

Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "The Solitude of Self" Neo-Aristotelian Analysis Does Elizabeth Cady Stanton effectively convince her audience of the necessity of women's voting rights? Conclusion: Does Elizabeth Cady Stanton effectively convince her audience of the necessity of women's voting rights? Neo-Aristotelian Analysis of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "The Solitude of Self."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born November 12, 1815 to a wealthy family. 8 of 11 children.
She died October 26, 1902 (18 years before women were granted the right to vote in 1920).
Married for 47 years to Henry Brewster Stanton.
She had 7 children, 2 of whom were girls.
She created the first newspaper run only by women called "The Revolution" and wrote the first women’s Bible. Background Info On January 18th, 1892, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (at 76) resigned from the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Her farewell speech, given before the United States House Committee on the Judiciary, was titled "The Solitude of Self."

Her speech was well-received and was published by Lucy Stone in the "Women's Journal". Reconstructing Context Stanton’s argument does not contain evidence, or follow a traditional structure of a speech. Instead, her argument focuses on the fundamental rights of the individual in order to prove that women should be given the same rights as men.

“The strongest reason for giving women all the opportunities for higher education...is the solitude of self. The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe...is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty.” Applying the Canons: Logos Yes, by relying on the importance of the individual and how as individuals everyone has to make their journey through life alone, Stanton effectively articulates her argument in a way that is relatable to everyone, regardless of gender, and also effectively gets her point across; that women should be given the right to vote. Ethos\ Pathos Ethos: Stanton uses a universal human quality (solitude) in order to build ethos. She places everyone, male and female, on the same level by arguing that everyone is an individual and consequently deserves certain rights, such as the right to vote.

Pathos: "…Alone she goes to the gates of death to give life to every man that is born into the world; no one can share her fears, no one can mitigate her pangs; and if her sorrow is greater than she can bear, alone she passes beyond the gates into the vast unknown.” Organization\Style and Memory\Delivery Organization\Style: Stanton's tone is poetic and figurative. She uses analogies, biblical references and references to literary figures. She uses an analogy of when preparing an army for war “we provide alike for all their individual necessities; [because] each man bears his own burden.” Stanton uses male characters (ex: Robinson Crusoe alone on his island) to relate to her male audience and show that men are susceptible to isolation as well.

Memory\Delivery: Stanton was reciting from memory, but her speech does not follow the traditional method of a persuasive argument since it has no conclusion, but ends instead with a question: "Such is individual life. Who, I ask you, can take...on himself the rights, the duties, the responsibility of another human soul?"
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