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Rhetortical Strategies Used in Lord Chesterfield's Letter

  • Date Submitted: 11/03/2010 03:41 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.6 
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Lord Chesterfield’s Rhetorical Strategies
In Lord Chesterfield's letter addressed to his young son, he uses two rhetorical strategies to help construct the format of his letter in a way to what Chesterfield believes will benefit his son and “is only for the sake of doing right, and out of affection and gratitude.” It then builds up to become a critical and scold to his son in advice he believes is absolutely necessary. In this letter, Chesterfield employs two rhetorical strategies--description and cause and effect--to achieve an effective “threat” to his son, which Chesterfield hopes to display his will for his son to excel in his studies. He is able to do thoroughly through several different devices such as anaphora, antithesis, and imagery.
A rhetorical strategy that is used in the writing of this letter is description. Description, is detail sensory perceptions of a person, place, or thing paying a prominent role in the essay, or in this case a letter, and is used throughout the entire letter. Lord Chesterfield talks about his views on life and how his son could use them in his own life experiences and to “act right, upon more noble and generous principles”. By using this rhetorical strategy and antithesis, which is able to contribute to his effective approach as it, reveals how he values his family. Even before he starts the second column, his tone has changed from a more sincere and uplifting tone, into a scolding and belligerent lecture where he ridicules his son through antithesis--“your shame and regret must be greater than anybody’s, because everybody knows the uncommon care which has been taken of your education” and only believes his son will survive because of him, “you [are] absolutely dependent upon me; that neither you have, nor can have a shilling in the world but from me.”
One other rhetorical strategy used in the construction of this letter would be cause and effect analysis. Cause and effect analysis is analyzing why something happens and...

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