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Ain't I a Woman? (Grade 10)

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Ain't I a Woman?

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

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? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? 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! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

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.

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! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.
What type of organization does the speaker use most in this speech?
  1. Compare and contrast
  2. Cause and effect
  3. Sequence of events
  4. Order of importance
Where do the allusions the author uses come from?
  1. Shakespeare
  2. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  3. The Bible
  4. Greek history
What is the speaker's tone?
  1. Angry
  2. Defeated
  3. Joyful
  4. Determined
How does the speaker get her point across?
  1. Through facts and figures
  2. Through specific examples and contrasts
  3. Through quotes from experts
  4. Through examples from history
Which technique does the speaker use to get her point across?
  1. Repetition
  2. Similes
  3. Onomatopoeia
  4. Hyperbole
What's the purpose of the speech?

What do you learn about the speaker from this speech?

This speech was given at a women's convention. How might the speech have been different if it were given in front of Congress or with a group of wealthy men in the audience?

Why was Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" speech so revolutionary at its time?

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