Topic

Emmeline Pankhurst’s speech “Freedom or Death” focuses on the topic of women’s fight for voting rights in Britain. In exploring this topic, the speaker includes universal themes like revolutionary activism (the use of violence and radical means to advocate one’s cause) and gender discriminati…

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Revolutionary activism

The speaker’s overall purpose is to justify the use of militant tactics in the fight for voting rights for women in Britain. The speaker, therefore, devotes much of her speech to talk about revolutionary actions and militant tactics.

For example, the speaker describes why women need to resort to militant tactics in Britain, by making analogies with the American Revolution: “…when every other means had failed, they …

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Gender discrimination

As Women’s Suffrage Movement was a result of political discrimination against women (who did not have voting rights), the speaker also discusses gender discrimination. Firstly, she exemplifies how women were excluded from the political process in Britain: “No man was ever put out of a public meeting for asking a question until Votes for Women came onto the political horizon. The first people who were put out of a political meeting for asking questions, were women…”

Then, she suggests that gender discrimination was also present during the American …

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Argumentation

Emmeline Pankhurst uses direct argumentation to discuss women’s fight for voting rights in Britain. Direct argumentation means the speaker is straightforward about her purpose and presents her views openly.

Direct argumentation is noticeable from the beginning of the speech when the speaker explains her intentions:

I am here as a soldier who has temporarily left the field of battle in order to explain - it see…

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