John Downe’s letter to his wife creates an enthusiastic, persuasive tone to try to convince her to leave England and come to the United States. The diction he uses and the way he structures his sentences highlights the points he tries to make. He uses an array of rhetorical strategies and devices such as imagery, tone and attitude, and pathos to do so.
Throughout most of the letter, Downe describes to his wife the lifestyle in the United States through imagery. The diction he uses gives a comforting, welcoming visual of what the United States has in store for his wife and family. Most of the persuading goes on in the first paragraph as he exemplifies all the great opportunities with leaving England and coming to the United States. He gives his wife a sense of security when he explains that people in the United States do not have to close or lock their doors and can enjoy their lives doing whatever they like, from picking fruits to going to get a drink. He gives her something to look forward to by describing the beauty of America and sharing his experiences.
In the second paragraph, Downe gets into a more personal aspect with his word choice and sentence structure through pathos. Short, direct sentences are used to get his point across to his wife. He exemplifies his regret and remorse for leaving the family during his time of hardship and explains that he is back on his feet due to his choice of moving to the United States and starting a whole new life. Downe uses this to explain to his wife that her life can be changed if she comes also. He repeatedly used the word “dear” to refer to his wife and family and to make a point to personally address his wife.
Downe’s tone and attitude throughout the whole letter is persuasive. It is important for him to get his family to move to the United States and enjoy a whole new life together. From describing the market place to trying to degrade England, his sole purpose is to convince his wife that the United States is a better place for her and his family. He takes a shot at England when he said, that “there is no improper or disgusting equality” in the United States compared to England. He ends the letter with emotion when he
tells his wife to give the children a kiss for him.
John Downe uses different rhetorical strategies to try to persuade his wife to move to the United States from England. He paints an image of America that is welcoming and warm. His tone is very persuasive and he uses pathos to form a connection with his wife.
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