Lord Chesterfield's Letter To His Son

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Parents of the 1700's had different parenting values then the parents of today. Lord Chesterfield's letter to his traveling son, whom is traveling all around England, is a prime example of this. At first, Chesterfield seems full of doubt, wondering if his letter will even be of any help to his son. However, later on, the letter shifts into a seemingly threatning tone, telling his son that he needs to treat life like a competition and be better then everybody. With the use of understatement and irony, the letter states his values as a loving, yet strict father who only wants his son to succeed and nothing more. "I confess I have often my doubts whether [my writing] is of any use to you", the first line in Chesterfield's letter, shows that he is doubtful as to whether or not his advice will help his son. The use of understatement is very clear here, as Chesterfield is making it seem like his words aren't as important as they really are. "I know how unwelcome advice generally is" is a clear example of this. Chesterfield is making his words feel unnecessary and not worth the time to read. He feels that his rambling won't help his son achieve anything more then he already has, and that his advice can be compared to the garrulity of old age. However, his tone quickly shifts into a much harsher one, as he starts to go off and start tell his son that without his advice, he wouldn't be able to succeed. Chesterfield shifts his letter from a seemingly apologetic mood to a threatening, cold-but-true mood to make sure it catches your eye. Now, he's almost making threats to his son, claiming that if he doesn't listen to his advice, his son will be a failure. "neither you have, nor can have a shilling in the world but from me" is obviously saying that without his father, the boy wouldn't have a single cent of money. He then goes on to say that he doesn't have any sort of
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