"The Speech of Miss Polly Baker" by Benjamin Franklin: An Early Protest for the Gender Equality

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"The Speech of Miss Polly Baker" by Benjamin Franklin: An Early Protest for the Gender Equality essay
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In Benjamin Franklins, “The Speech of Miss Polly Baker” takes place in a New England courthouse where she is being charged for having children out of wedlock. Franklin describes that the children’s fathers all left and that the laws against the women are partially skewed to punish women. Also, insinuates that laws that target women are flawed similar to other laws that are repealed after being proven to be unreasonable.

Franklin’s focuses on verbal irony as the subtle issue that there is a lack of women’s rights. The format of this speech begs the question of whether or not women should be given more rights. The speech is ended with the idea for expanding rights for women are for the reader to decipher while simultaneously leaving everyone thinking about the points that were made.

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At the beginning of the speech “The Speech of Miss Polly Baker,” Miss Polly Baker responds to being accused of having another child out of wedlock. However, as she continues with her defence she proposes an argument against the punishment women receive for having children out of wedlock. Her main point of the argument is that she is forced to paid “heavy fines,” and is brought back to the court for every child and other irrational charges. Some of the charges brought against her are for her “want of money to pay those fines” (Franklin 449). This brings up one of the ironies used by franklin is that as Miss Polly Baker states that even Laws themselves “unreasonable” and that is why laws are sometimes repealed to prevent such things form occuring.

Another major talking point of argument produced by Miss Polly Baker is that shes “always lived an inoffensive life” (Franklin 449). To provide a credible source that everyone can relate to she cites the bible which says recreation is allowed and shes has not committed any wrongdoings. However, instead of that, she wants to be married just like any other woman, but the latest man took her virginity and left similar to the other men in her life.

She pleads with the court that she would be a good wife as well as anyone else that is married. But this will fall on deaf ears since the court has already made decisions based on personal beliefs and the lack of laws that pertain to women. This leaves Miss Baker with the option to either pay double the fines or become married and with the possibility to be severely punished.

The speech of Miss Polly Baker is essential because it points out gender inequality in the 18th century prior to the American revolutionary war. Miss Polly Baker, a single mother of five, all of which she will get fined for having is put on trial for not being married with children in a one-sided trial. Although, she was married before her husband left her with a child to further his career. The charges brought against Miss Baker are unfair because she has provided for her children with no help.

This speech can be considered an early form of gender equality based on Miss Baker, proving that she is self-sufficient. It does this by showing that she can provide for her children without the help of a man. This further reiterates the purpose of this speech by Benjamin Franklin which is to expand the laws of men to allow women to be on an equal playing field.

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This essay provides a satisfactory analysis of Benjamin Franklin's "The Speech of Miss Polly Baker." The essay highlights the speech's focus on women's rights, particularly the ironies and injustices faced by Miss Polly Baker. The writer emphasizes verbal irony and the argument against punishing women for having children out of wedlock. While addressing key points of the speech, the analysis lacks depth and could benefit from more explicit connections to the broader historical and social context of the 18th century. The conclusion draws attention to gender equality but could further explore the impact of the speech in its historical context.
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What can be improved
Historical Context: Provide more historical context to better understand the societal norms, women's rights, and gender roles in the 18th century. Thesis Statement: Develop a clear thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay and guides the reader through the analysis. Expand on Irony: Elaborate on the use of verbal irony and its purpose in conveying the issues of gender inequality and unjust laws. Cite Specific Text: Include specific quotes from the speech to support your analysis and strengthen your points. Broader Significance: Discuss the potential impact of the speech in the context of gender equality efforts and its relevance beyond its time.
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“The Speech of Miss Polly Baker” by Benjamin Franklin: An Early Protest for the Gender Equality. (2021, February 22). WritingBros. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/the-speech-of-miss-polly-baker-by-benjamin-franklin-an-early-protest-for-the-gender-equality/
““The Speech of Miss Polly Baker” by Benjamin Franklin: An Early Protest for the Gender Equality.” WritingBros, 22 Feb. 2021, writingbros.com/essay-examples/the-speech-of-miss-polly-baker-by-benjamin-franklin-an-early-protest-for-the-gender-equality/
“The Speech of Miss Polly Baker” by Benjamin Franklin: An Early Protest for the Gender Equality. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/the-speech-of-miss-polly-baker-by-benjamin-franklin-an-early-protest-for-the-gender-equality/> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
“The Speech of Miss Polly Baker” by Benjamin Franklin: An Early Protest for the Gender Equality [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Feb 22 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/the-speech-of-miss-polly-baker-by-benjamin-franklin-an-early-protest-for-the-gender-equality/
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"The Speech of Miss Polly Baker" by Benjamin Franklin: An Early Protest for the Gender Equality essay

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