She wanted to express to her precious son to take on any opportunity that the universe threw at him for he is not the only one with admirable qualities. She urged him to carry on head strong no matter the circumstances and by providing all this support and love she sent him off with confidence and motivation to bring his mother “justice, fortitude, and every good virtue which can adorn a good citizen” (Adams). to continue making her
Her letter to John Quincy Adams, her son shows the affection she has for her son. She writes formally and personally to get her point across yet, still making it clear that her son has a support from his loving family to help guide him through any adversities that may be thrown his way. Through her rhetoric Abigail Adams is able to show the perfect balance a mother must have in guiding her son towards the direction best for him, while maintaining logical and emotional
Every mother wants what the best for her child, even if that child may not believe so. In her letter to her son, John Quincy Adams, Abigail Adams addresses him during his travels in France and defends the rationale of her previous advice while providing her new advice, and partly demands, on the subjects of honor and duty. Abigail Adams uses emotional appeals in the form of personal repetition, flattering metaphors, and prideful personification in order to advise and persuade her son in his personal growth and appeal to his personal qualities, such as pride of honesty and knowledge, to spur his ambitions and actions. To start off the letter, after greeting him and explaining the occasion of her writing, Abigail uses personal repetition with the word “your,” before qualities and events with a positive connotation to appeal to John’s pride and leave him open to listen to more of her her advice, as she already successfully advised him in his trip to France. In only the second sentence of the letter, Abigail already throws in that her advice is, to John, “for your own benefit,” (5) later she speaks of, once again to John, “your knowledge,” (11) and finally, “your understanding,” (14).
She opens the letter with “MY DEAR SON” (1), in order to show John that she cares for him and has no intention of insulting him. She then moves to inform him that he is “favored with superior advantages” (1), explaining that he has talents and should utilize them to his best ability. These compliments describe her maternal affection for her son and that she wants the best for him. These also make him feel a sense of guilt for possibly not living up to his highest potential, and will convince him to live up to his highest
She puts her father on a high pedestal as he “understands everything” (66). She does not talk back or say one bad thing about her father that would bring him down from that pedestal in the first part of the novel. Leah “[hasn’t] contradicted [her] father on any subject, ever” (66). This shows that, to her, he is all knowing and will alway know what is best. Due to the fact that Leah holds her father in such high regard, she is always trying to do things well enough to “suit” her father (37).
Adams establishes authority by using pathos throughout her letter. She uses this rhetorical strategy to connect with her son and show affection. Throughout her letter Adams says "My son". She states this multiple times to clarify that this letter is not to scold him but to guide and inform him. By Adams continually emphasizing support for her son,
Adams is able to contrast that wisdom and ambition comes from experience, not laziness. Here, she can tell her son to be ambitious now so he can be wise in the
The third rhetorical device, Abigail Adams uses is logical repetition. Mrs. Adams was a logical woman and used this to drive the point that her son has great things that lie ahead of him. She mentions the word “great” a series of times to lift her son up. For example, she says that he has been endowed with “greater advantages” that he hasn't come to realize yet. Such as his parents, education, and that he has been taught that everything isn't about him becoming who he wants to be.