Abigail Adams

Adams used the rhetorical strategies of logos, ethos, and pathos to guide her son In a direction that will push him to take advantage of the world he lives in to broaden his mind and understand the importance of engaging himself in society. First, Abigail uses logos in her writing. One of her ways to push her son in the direction she wants is for him to understand that developing the things he already knows will contribute to his broadening.
She wrote, “Your knowledge of the language must give you greater advantages now than you could possibly have reaped whilst ignorant of it; and as you increase in years, you will find your understanding opening and daily Adams). She wants him to realize that if he can utilize the things he already knows, then his comprehension of life will become deeper. HIS advantage Is that he Is surrounded by countless opportunities In which he can go and apply his knowledge, but he needs to see It.
Another way Abigail tries to push him Is by telling him that, “When a mind Is raised and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities, which would otherwise lie dormant, wake into Adams). Not only is she stressing the part about him needing to utilize his knowledge, but she is also pointing out, again, that he will never know what he is capable of until he wakes it up. The use of logos is strategic because it reassures the on of what could be if he would Just look into his mind. Second, she uses ethos in her letter to her son.

Abigail claims to her son that she has met with an author and he compares “a Judicious traveler 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. “(Unknown author). This Is the point she used to remind her son to take advantage of the world. He needs to be ‘a river’ and soak up all the knowledge or ‘minerals’ he can. The new knowledge will improve him as a person because it will allow his mind to broaden, plus it is an act of engaging in society and the world.
To back up her point of ethos, Abigail wrote, “All history will convince you of this, and that wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and Adams). ‘All of history is a very large statement. This furthers her want for him to go out, take advantage of his world, and experience things to expand his understanding. She reminds him that the only way to broaden one’s mind and gain wisdom and knowledge is through experience or engagement. Her strategic use of ethos can get her point across to her son that participating In life and In society will allow him to gain a variety of qualities.
Lastly, Ball used the strategy of pathos to further gulled her son. Since she Is a mother, she uses status to her advantage. In the beginning, she apologizes to make sure that her son lets go of any hostility towards her for making him go on a voyage “It will be expected of you, my son… “, “… Under the instructive eye of a tender parent… “, meet it is your lot, my son, to be an eyewitness… In your own native land… ” , ” … O have a parent who has taken so large and active a share in this contest… “, and “… Nor your country, and render your parents supremely happy, particularly your ever affectionate mother. ” These small pieces that were slipped into sentences reinforce her status. She is the mother and she has the power in the end, but she hopes he will do it on his own, with the help of this letter. Her usage of pathos is the factor that has the ability to thoroughly convince him to do her wishes. Abigail Adams knew exactly what she wanted for her son and she knew what needed to happen for him to see it as well. The letter she wrote captures all the things she hoped for him to experience and learn.
The use of rhetorical strategies allowed her to convey her wishes because each strategy, logos, ethos, and pathos, served a specific purpose. Logos showed her son why he should listen to her. Ethos let him know that his mother was not the only one to think these things. Finally, pathos was the side that enabled Abigail to use her mother status. After all of her words were written, she hoped that her son would understand how important it was to allow the world to give you knowledge and use said knowledge in return to broaden the mind and it’s horizons.

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