Emma Goldmans Speech Essay

1593 Words 7 Pages
Few people are fearless speakers. As students, we generally feel the rumble of butterflies in our stomachs, but the most we have to lose is a good grade.
For Emma Goldman, the stakes were considerably higher. She had the daunting task of speaking to secure her own freedom when she was placed on trial for obstructing the draft in 1917. The country was awash in patriotism, and she was prosecuted as an enemy of the state. When preparing her speech, she realized that a seated jury would be a microcosm of the country's national spirit. Jurors may have had children or loved ones committed or lost to the Great War. Her position, though heartfelt and eloquently expressed, with an attempt to express her own patriotism, was subversive and
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As it turns out, the same war, so to speak, against conscription has been fought and won in countries all over the globe. She also goes to great lengths to depict the fact that what she was doing was not technically a crime. She even takes the time to reinforce the judge's words, when she says "now then you have already been told and I am sure you will be charged by His Honor that the indictment against us is, having conspired and having used overt acts to carry out the conspiracy to induce men of conscriptable age not to register. That is the indictment and you cannot and you may not render a verdict for anything else. " She works hard to make sure that the jury doesn't use its previous bias against anarchism to indict her. Because Goldman is able to explain her topics with such detail, and powerfully reinforces each concept into her audience’s head, her speech effectively relates the main ideas that she wanted to express.
     Goldman's strongest attribute is her ability to make the jury feel like pardoning her will be another giant step towards liberty and justice for all in America. At first, Goldman paints the picture of the government trying to make her and her partner "stay in the Tombs instead of enjoying [their] liberty." This is essentially an attempt by Goldman to make the jury feel like the litigation against her is very undemocratic. She compares herself to Jesus, playing on her audience's

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