Abigail Adams Letter To My Son Essay

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In January of 1780, Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her son John Quincy Adams while he was traveling abroad with his father, John Adams. Throughout the letter Abigail Adams utilizes the Aristotelian appeal pathos to appeal to her son’s emotions, along with a metaphor and an allusion to explain to him how he can grow up to be successful in life to John Quincy through any hardships he may have faced while traveling overseas. Abigail Adams establishes pathos throughout the letter. An example of this is when she adopts a maternal tone. She uses the words “My son” throughout the letter to personalize her writing. This may be a form of pathos because this strategy appeals to her son’s emotions. This tone is effective because Adams knows that John…show more content…
An example of metaphor is when she says, "Some author, that I have met with, compares a judicious traveller to a river, that increases its stream the further it flows from its source; or to certain springs, which, running through rich veins of minerals, improve their qualities as they pass along." This shows how Adams believes that John Quincy will further his success as he grows older if he travels through life with an open mind. Through the use of this metaphor, Adams predicts that her son will gain knowledge from the experiences he faces as he gets older if he does not take advantage of the life he was given. Instead, he has to go out and find his own. An example of allusion is when Adams compares Cicero and the challenges he overcame to become a strong leader to her son, and how he could do the same. "Would Cicero have shone so distinguished an orator if he had not been roused, kindled, an enflamed by the tyranny of Catiline, Verres, and Mark Anthony?" She uses this allusion to prove to her son that he could be a strong, powerful leader. Adams encourages John Quincy that challenges are not a setback, and assures him that if he continues to push through the hard times he can get where he wants to be in
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