Rhetorical Analysis Of Letters From An American Farmer

Good Essays
When the Virginia Company landed at the James River in 1606 no one thought they had just planted the seeds to a powerful and mighty nation. The first immigrants who landed in "America" were a bedraggled bunch looking for a quick buck. Soon more would follow and colonies would sprout up, along with the hope of a better life. Michel – Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoer was a French emigrant who arrived in America in 1759 and traveled around the country for ten years. His travels gave him the inspiration to write about life in America in a series of twelve essays called Letters from an American Farmer. One of the best know essays is "What Is an American?" which uses chronological organization, extended metaphors, symbolism, and diction, to remind the …show more content…
Jean de Crèvecoer uses negative connotation in the first half of his piece by putting in phrases like "wretch", "pinching penury", "punishment", and repetition of the word "poor" to show how the immigrants lives were a horrible, dirty, miserable existence. They lived below poverty with dogs and fleas, eating rotten bread that the rich didn't think good enough to give to their dogs. These negative connotations support his rhetorical question: "Can a wretch who wanders about, who works and starves… call England or any other kingdom his country?" (290). No immigrant who has been treated in such a horrid manner would take such oppression anymore. They would instead listen and cling to tales of a far off country where all people are treated as equals and no one is …show more content…
In Europe the poor immigrants, "were useless plants…mowed down by want, hunger, and war. But now with the power of transplantation…they have taken root and flourished!" (290). Europe is just an infertile garden of hate and war but now that a more bountiful garden (America) has been discovered the immigrants can be "transplanted" and flourish and grow to their fullest potential fed by the new hopes, dreams, and opportunities that are appearing to them. Jean de Crèvecoer reinforces his point by posing the question: "What attachment can a poor European emigrant have for a country where he had nothing?" (290). An immigrant can't hope to have any loyalty to a country that has shown him disrespect from the moment he was born, a country that has spat in his face while he begged on the side of the road for a scrap of food, a country that has pushed him in to the mud and trodden on him. He instead must embrace a country that has new opportunities for him, a country where he is respected, and a country where he can get what he has always wanted to have,

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    What does it truly mean to declare I am an American? Is it just another way to say I am an inhabitant of America? If an early American immigrant had declared I am an American what would the phrase have meant? Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, an influential writer and farmer from the late 1700s to early 1800s, wrote Letters from an American Farmer, in which he answered the grand question, What is an American? Of the many elements and attributes of early American life as discussed by Crevecoeur, freedom…

    • 876 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    equal. However, the definition of what makes a person an American is entirely different from what it is that makes up America, itself. J.Hector St. John Crevecoeur, author of Letters from an American Farmer (1782), exposes what he believes makes an American. However, when compared to the standards of what makes an American in today’s world, it seems that becoming an American then was much simpler then, than it is today. The definition of an American is always evolving due to the influences of our changing…

    • 1222 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Letters from an American Farmer kindled the attention of Benjamin Franklin and European logicians. Farmer Jean’s subjects about living in the American colonies and take part in the construction of a new way of life that range broadly from discussing the lack of dignity and nobility in America to stories about snakes including one about how a snake's venomous fang got rooted in a man's boot and murdered all whom wore the boot to extensive dialogs about watching hummingbirds for hours and hours. Farmer…

    • 241 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    America is a place where all cultures of the world, mostly European, unite to create a society in which anybody can prosper. In Letters from an American Farmer Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crevecoeur commends this welcoming society full of diverse European ethnicities with repetition, large lists, and contrasting diction because of its freedom from European superiority. Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crevecoeur with negative diction and extensive lists creates an image of an unwelcoming culture of Europe…

    • 524 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Being an American In his "Letters from an American Farmer," Crevecoeur thought that America was a great place to live with many unique factors that could not be found anywhere else. He gave examples of what he considered being an American and why he believed this country was better than European countries. The land was plentiful and had many types of terrain. Everyone could enjoy a freedom to be successful. The government was fair because it did not have a king as well as many other reasons. In Europe…

    • 537 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Letters from an American Farmer Rhetorical Analysis The movement of human beings has been a major part of the world for thousands of years. Whether it is the conquistadors who explored South America or the Africans who were brought to the United States, migration has played an important role in the world as we know it today. America was built solely by immigrants and in his 1782 collection of essays, Letters from an American Farmer, J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur defines what it truly means…

    • 700 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Pennsylvania during the 17060’s and 70’s. “Letters from an American Farmer” is a document written by Crevecoeur discussing his discovery of a new kind of person, known as “the American.” He expands on the idea of the American by their stating distinct qualities, and how those qualities came to be. Let us not be mislead by Crevecoeur’s use of the word “American.” The group of people that inhabited the American soil at the time were new to the land, originally hailing from Europe. According to Crevecoeur,…

    • 1548 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the year 1782, St. John de Crevecoeur wrote an essay about the recently independent country America. The piece was featured in his collection of essays, Letters from an American Farmer. Crevecoeur defines Americans in this essay, to others around the world who wished to read it at the time. He goes in depth about the vast freedom and opportunities in America and compels others in lesser countries to come and flourish. Throughout the essay, Crevecoeur delivers his words proudly and boastingly.…

    • 409 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Lyndsay E. Dyer 10/11/2012 HIS 131-01 Writing Assignment #1 Document Set: 4-4 Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania Summary: The letters described in the document set were not, in fact, actual letters from a farmer in Pennsylvania, but from a well educated lawyer named John Dickinson. The document set highlights the first of this series of articles published in a Philadelphia Newspaper between 1767 and 1768. Dickinson recognized that the British rule over the colonies was growing ever-tense…

    • 506 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Rozo Honors U.S. History Mr. Hoffman 17 September 2012 Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer John Dickinson’s famous pieces of writing were a way of addressing unconstitutional wrongs from the British during the time 1767 when several letters were written. Dickinson thoroughly explains his argument of the rights taken away from the colonists along with showing his respect for the British Constitution. He uses his knowledge of the unfavorable…

    • 307 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays