Letter To Abigail Adams My Dear Son

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Mother to John Quincy Adams, Abigail Adams, in her letter, “My Dear Son”, instructs and advises her son as he travels abroad with his father, John Adams. Adams purpose is to encourage her son to take responsibility for his own actions and use this experience to learn and grow. She adopts a loving and trusting tone in order to appeal to her son’s emotions and empower him to persist on the journey with maturity and good intentions. Adams begins her letter to her son by flattering her son. She acknowledges his faithfulness and submissiveness as he “readily submitted to her advice” (9), despite his reluctance. She praises her son for valuing her opinion more than his own. Adams adds to this when she says “[his] knowledge of the language must give [him] greater advantages now than the [he] could possibly have reaped whilst ignorant of it” (12-14). Through this, she not only continues to flatter her son, but instills self-confidence and a sense of pride within him. The compliments Adams gives her son ultimately conveys her confidence in her son’s…show more content…
But, she quells all worries when she says, “It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific ocean, that great characters are formed” (30-32). To elaborate, Adams then compares her son to Cicero. It is evident that her son is well aware of Cicero as Adams writes, “Would Cicero have shone so distinguished an orator if he had not been roused, kindled and inflamed by the tyranny of Catiline, Verres, and Mark Anthony” (32-25). Cicero, a well-educated man, prevailed and came out prosperous despite the many difficulties he faced. Adams uses him as an example to convey the idea to her son that the difficulties he may face now will pay off in the end as they will mold him and lead him to success. This idea should inspire her son and help him continue to push

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