A Letter to His Son- Chesterfield, Ap Question

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Francis Gillet

2/7/13

Ap English 11

A letter to his son

This passage is by no means a message of simplicity, and good intentioned writing for his son to be taken lightly. Chesterfield reflects his own values and morals in these short paragraphs, in attempts to remind his son of his responsibilities for him to “weigh and consider”. Chesterfield’s morals and values are clearly portrayed by his use of strategies such as understatement, contradiction, rhetorical question, and lastly he uses guilt, to make his intention unquestionable

How does a parent change the behavior of the prodigal child? Chesterfield can attempt to bring his partying son to his senses by writing a persuasive argument. Chesterfield laces his first paragraph with understatement, in order to make his intentions clear, also he spends the first 17 lines discrediting his own advice and morals even, only to contradict himself later on – “ I know, too, that the advice of parents, more particularly, is ascribed to the moroseness, the imperiousness, or the garrulity of old age.” Imperiousness – come on Chesterfield, in no way do you feel arrogant after writing out all those fat checks so “uncommon care” can be taken into his son’s education just so he can party overseas and not take advantage of his head start on the world, lets be honest, Chesterfield is dealing with a parents worst nightmare.

Chesterfields rhetoric is also truly apparent is the quote “I flatter myself, that as your own reason, young as it is, must tell you, that I can have no interest but yours in the advice I give you.” Here he basically states his faith in his son’s ability to derive, and implement good advice, but clearly the underlying meaning is that his own advice is the best.

Chesterfield’s constant contradiction however does not stop there, Chesterfield’s intention by using by persuasive strategy, is most definitely guilt trip his son. “ I do not, therefore, so much as to hint to you, how absolutely...
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