Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter To Captain John Smith

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Chief Powhatan, eldest of his five siblings, writes a letter addressed to Captain John Smith asking for, instead of fighting with swords and guns, they talk and discuss with peace. Throughout his letter, various rhetorical strategies such as tone, argumentation and syntax, are used in order to captivate whom the letter is addressed to and to make an effort in convincing him of changing his ways. In perspective, the letter may act as a warning for Captain Smith and his people to stop fighting or else the Chief and his tribe are going to abandon them and take their resources with them, leaving the English settlers to fend for themselves. Chief Powhatan starts his letter sympathetically, speaking of his family and how he wants them to feel the world like he had felt it. He states that he is old and must soon die, however, he does not want his family nor his people to live in a war infested world led by the English. His tone has a particular importance in getting into the reader’s head in an intent to make him realize that war and violence is not necessarily the correct way to face a new situation. “Why should you take …show more content…

Preeminently, his use of syntax may make him insinuate that he is superior to the English along with the passion he demonstrates towards his proposition. Categorically, he states, “Captain Smith, this might soon be your fate too through your rashness and unadvisedly” as if threatening him to eliminate his violence. For the duration of his letter his sentence length grew, each sentence becoming longer as the end of his letter approached. Sentence length contributes greatly in bringing focus towards his ideas by virtue of pulling the reader’s attention into the literature. The pace was affected by his syntax in the way that it intensified as his conclusion grew closer. Along with his sentence length, his sentence structure also gave the pace somewhat of an accelerated

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