17 pages 34 minutes read

Sojourner Truth

Ain't I A Woman

Nonfiction | Essay / Speech | Adult | Published in 1851

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Literary Devices


In Gage’s version of the speech, Truth’s repetition of the question “And ain’t I a woman?” (Paragraph 2) builds a sense of outrage over the way her worth is continually disregarded. Truth punctuates each example of her strength as a woman with the same question. By doing so, she seems to be asking how much proof she must offer until society deems her deserving of equal rights. Truth tells the audience about the strength of her arms and then asks, “Ain’t I a woman?” (Paragraph 2). Truth then details the physical labor she’s performed and asks, “Ain’t I a woman?” (Paragraph 2). Truth goes on to recount her lonely experiences of motherhood and asks, “Ain’t I a woman?” (Paragraph 2). Each instance seems to invoke another question: “When will I be enough to deserve equal rights?”

Figurative Language

Truth relies on figurative language when speaking about religion’s role in women’s suffrage. She states that just as Eve “turn[ed] the world upside down” (Paragraph 5) women today have the power to “turn it back” (Paragraph 5). Although the language is figurative in the sense that she does not intend to physically turn the world around, the