“Ain’t I a Woman?” Sojourner Truth Background Sojourner Truth was born in 1797 in Ulster County, New York. She was one of twelve children. Her given name was Isabella Baumfree. She was a former slave, minister and a woman’s rights activist; she was nationally known advocate for equality and justice. She escaped to freedom in 1826. Her most commonly known speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” was delivered in 1851 at the Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. She was fundamentally speaking on discrimination within gender. Truth gave birth to five known children; she was never married. Sojourner Truth’s cause of death is unknown; it may be from ago, the ulcers on her legs, or from a disease she had. Audio Snippet of the Sermon Video of Myself Giving the Speech http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrksYZZ_8jM SOAPSTONE Subject: The subject in SOAPSTONE stands for the main idea. Principally Sojourner Truth is speaking on presumptuous stereotypes within the female population and she’s backing up the inaccurate concept with her personal experiences. Occasion: The occasion in SOAPSTONE stands for the issues and ideas the speaker is speaking on. Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” sermon wherein she was speaking as a Woman’s Rights Activist in May, 1851. Audience: The audience in SOAPSTONE stands for who the text is directed to. Distinctively Truth sermons the male population and associated townspeople. SOAPSTONE cont. Purpose: The purpose in SOAPSTONE is simply why the author is writing, or why the speaker is speaking. The brief homily justifies a woman’s worth in the world; Truth vindicates the fact that we are important just as much as men are. Speaker: The speaker in SOAPSTONE is the voice who’s speaking. Sojourner Truth, Woman’s Rights Activist, minister, and a domestic servant who is a very significant and well known African-American today. Tone: The tone in SOAPSTONE is the feeling used by the author or speaker. The tone is very powerful, encouraging, and inspiring Analysis “Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men ‘cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.” These brief sentences that came out of Truth’s mouth bestow the readers and the audience with the precise piece of evidence that supports the detail that women are important. This sentence demonstrates the inner subject of the homily itself. It displays recognition that women are just as, if not more important than men. Additional Analysis “I could work as much and eat as much as a man-when I could get itand bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman?” Sojourner Truth is saying that people often underestimate and undervalue the abilities of a female. “And ain’t I a woman?” She lists majority of her life experiences along with what she’s used to in order to draw attention and arouse emotion within her audience. It’s more so like an “I did the same thing he did, and ain’t I a woman?” kind of thing. The Principle/Premise “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!” ----Truth is accentuating the actuality that we are women and we are beyond superior. Like the old saying goes “I can do bad all by myself.” Ethos “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman?” Ethos is all about credibility and I felt as though ethos was displayed in this line of the speech. She’s putting her personal experiences into what she’s saying, using repetitive language and using biblical references. Had she not been a former slave, she wouldn’t be able to refer back to those experiences. Pathos “I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me!” This line definitely arouses emotion. Truth is saying that she could rely on no mortal and that Jesus was the only one by her side at all times. She puts hapless events that happened to her within this line to bring out emotion in order to get it back from the audience. Logos “Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.” To me, logos is just another word for common sense. This line that came out of her mouth displays common sense because it’s true! Everyone knows the story of Mary and Joseph and the baby in the manger! Everyone knows the story of perfect little Jesus. Rhetorical Devices- Repetition and Rhetorical Question “And ain’t I a woman?” This line undeniably has significant meaning to the whole speech. It’s the TITLE of the speech! She says this after every experience, opinion, and reference that she shouts in the speech. It obviously has substantial meaning if she’s using it repeatedly. With this line, she is demanding attention from the males, exclaiming that women are no different and we deserve the same rights. “Where did your Christ come from?” As I said previously, everyone knows the story of baby Jesus. We all know where he came from. Vivid Language and Strong Words “Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me!” The object of vivid language is to bring your concept or idea alive by painting pictures with your words, or as we know it, imagery. Sojourner Truth did this by using personal experiences to get the audience to understand where she’s coming from. Conclusion/ To Follow From researching this speech, I learned that rhetorical devices and pathos both definitely have an impact on the speaker’s speech. It definitely draws the audience to what he or she is saying. To me, Sojourner Truth was an extraordinary woman and she was very persistent when it came to rights. Her great use of repetition and references to her past most certainly helped the audience comprehend what she was trying to get across. The speech is significant in history and Truth opened people’s eyes with every line that came out of her mouth. After she escaped from freedom, she became a minister. Truth was well known because of her persistence and determination to get her ideas across. There isn’t anything about the speech that I disliked.