Lord Chesterfield Letter To His Son Analysis

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The first time a child leaves home is an important milestone in every family. This principle applies to even families belonging to the nobility in the mid-eighteenth century. In Lord Chesterfield’s letter to his son, he voices many opinions about him that many parents would like to say to their children even today. Lord Chesterfield skillfully uses subliminal messages in diction, humble concessions, contradictory language, indirect threats, and demoralizing lectures to impose his values on his insubordinate son. It is clear to the reader that his son takes his father for granted and the letter is a last-ditch effort by Lord Chesterfield to help him. The values, which Chesterfield has acquired throughout his life, are reflected in this letter to his son using many different rhetorical strategies. Lord Chesterfield organized the letter to his son in a way that was…show more content…
The reader can understand the relationship between father and son by simply reading the salutation. Chesterfield directly refers to his son as, “boy,” this shows his lack of respect for him along with his absence of familial weakness to him in contrast to his wife, which he states further on in the letter. Another example of diction that shows his values is how he repeatedly reminds his son that he is young; this is used to belittle his son and make his advice carry more weight. Last, he uses the word, “friend,” to give the tone in which he wishes to give his advice. He sought to give advice as a peer rather than a parent, which shows his devotion to his son because he is not acting like the dominant father he very clearly is. Chesterfield uses his style of diction mainly for the purpose of showing dominance. He constantly belittles his son and shows his supremacy. The different types of diction used throughout the letter all show in some way the virtues that Lord Chesterfield is imposing on his

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