Comments and discussion

In your analysis of the speech “Freedom or Death” by Emmeline Pankhurst, you could consider commenting on statements made by the speaker that are particularly interesting or controversial.

One such statement refers to the Boston Tea Party, a protest against an act regarding commerce with tea passed by the British government that led to the American Revolution:

When your forefathers threw the tea into Boston harbour, a good many women had to go without their tea. It has always seemed to me an extraordinary thing that you did not follow it up by throwing the whiskey overboard; you sacrificed the women… (p. 93, ll. 12-15)

The statement is ironic, but it also exposes what the speaker sees as gender discrimination throughout history, namely during the American Revolution. Pankhurst wants to sensitise American men to women’s grievances and to argue that women have always been ignored by men. The statement is bold, given that she aimed to raise funds in the US for her women’s rights organisation in Britain.

Another key statement also gives the title of the speech, “Freedom or Death”, and represents...

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