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 ...view middle of the document...
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 describing the consequences of a string of events. Chesterfield tells his son to learn from his mistakes in lines twenty-one to twenty-five, "Let my experiences supply your want of it, and clear your way in the progress of your youth, of those thorns and briars which scratched and disfigured me in the course of mine." Lord Chesterfield is explaining to his son to not make poor choices in life and to learn from the mistakes his father had made throughout his own. He uses anaphora throughout the letter, but one of his most repeated phrases is “can there be”, such as from what he had stated, “for can there be a greater pleasure than to be universally allowed to excel those of one’s own age and manner of life?” This question not only uses anaphora, but also displays his competitive tone. With the cause and effect strategy, Chesterfield also uses anaphora through repetition of expressions, which contributes to his letter by adding emphasis to certain phrases, therefore, supporting the thesis.
In conclusion, the two rhetorical strategies used in the writing of this letter were description and cause and effect analysis along with the support from rhetorical devices assisted in establishing the main idea of this letter which was to achieve an effective threat to his son. By using those two rhetorical strategies you can distinguish that Lord Chesterfield is competitive, although he wants what is best for his son, he is very judgmental of him throughout, which revealed the purpose and tone of the letter effectively.