Analysis Of Abigail Adams Letter To Her Son

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In pre-Revolutionary America, many changes were taking place. Abigail Adams recognizes this in her letter of encouragement to her son, who is with his brother and father on a French voyage. She is intimidating in the most motherly, affectionate way, and surely lets her son know that a lot is expected of him. Adams encourages her son through the use of comparison and by acknowledging his personal qualities to recognize the value of experience and overcoming personal challenges.
Throughout the letter, Adams constructs several comparisons between her son and great men as a way of persuading her son to be the best he can be and make his country proud. Adams emphasizes her son 's advantages, pointing out that he has been "favored with superior advantages under the instructive eye of a tender parent," presumably speaking of her husband, a future United States president. She wants her son 's progression on this voyage to "bear some proportion to [his] advantages," meaning he should mirror the determination of his father in regards to personal challenges. Adams also compares her son to Cicero, a great man who she argues would
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Abigail 's son has a significant understanding of the French language, a trait which she reminds him "must give [him] much greater advantages now than [he] could possibly have reaped whilst ignorant of it." While his challenges on this voyage will be many, advantages such as this knowledge of the French language will help him to overcome them. She also explains that "when a mind is raised and animated by scenes that engage the heart," then great virtues "wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman." This is her way of illustrating the role of this voyage as the spark to her son 's success. Never shying away from the fact that his success has been set up for him, Adams ' maternal voice is
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