Abigail Adams Rhetorical Strategies

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Andrew Hall Mrs. Krause English 11 Honors August 28, 2014 Abigail Adams Rhetorical Strategies Abigail Adams writes to her son, John Adams, in order to guide him and offer advice as he enters an important part of his life, of which she feels obliged to be a part of. In her letter she provides many instances of sincere and helpful advice, yet does not do so without the use of rhetorical strategies to emphasize her point and persuade her boy to adhere to her strict plan for him. Her acts of persuasion are in no way malicious or ill-fated, as they simply exhibit a classic “mother knows best” attitude in spirit of love and care for her child. In her letter to her son, Abigail Adams uses parental glorification, an appeal to the importance of knowledge, and an appeal to pride in one’s country in order to advise her son toward acts of her will. Abigail is well aware of the heavy regard for herself that she has bred into John, and thus uses this pre-established respect to heighten her own position to inform him. Her rhetorical appeal to her prestige in the eyes of her son paves the way for motiving her boy, as she stresses her importance to him, and thus the importance of her will. She also reminds him of his submission to her in past, using it as a tool to exhibit her importance to him in future as well as present matters. Although her self-glorifying approach may seem to simply due to unnecessary self-exaltation, her use of this rhetorical strategy is simply to create an effective voice for the advisement of her boy, as she obviously cares for him deeply and feels she knows best for him in his further conquests. Throughout her letter to John, Abagail Adams employs constant appeals to the importance of knowledge in her boy’s life; as she readily uses her position as his mother to encourage promote the significance of learning. Her constant

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