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Analysis Of Letter To Her Son By John Quincy Adams

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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). All of these words possess a positive connotation to one’s pride, which can easily be felt after so much focus on the “your”s to John.Through the use of this repetition, Abigail not only opens up her son to new advice, but subtly verifies her old advice of encouraging him to go to France,
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