In his letter, John Downe employs various rhetorical strategies and devices such as imagery, tone, attitude, and pathos to create an enthusiastic and persuasive tone. His goal is to convince his wife to leave England and join him in the United States.
The letter chiefly focuses on Downe’s description of life in the United States using vivid imagery. His choice of words creates a comforting and inviting visual of the opportunities that await his wife and family in America. The first paragraph is particularly persuasive, as he paints a picture of the incredible prospects that come with leaving England for the United States. He assures his wife of their safety by mentioning that people in America need not worry about closing or locking their doors, and can freely enjoy various activities such as picking fruits or going out for a drink. Through sharing his own experiences and highlighting the beauty of America, he fills his wife with anticipation for their new life.
Downe uses pathos to convey a more personal aspect in the second paragraph, employing specific word choice and sentence structure. To effectively communicate his regret and remorse for leaving his family during difficult times, he utilizes short, direct sentences. Downe highlights how his decision to move to the United States and start anew has helped him regain stability. By emphasizing the transformative potential for his wife’s life, he repeatedly addresses her as “dear” while also acknowledging his family.
The overall tone and attitude of Downe’s letter is persuasive, as he tries to convince his family to move to the United States for a fresh start. He highlights the market place and criticizes England, aiming to persuade his wife that the United States is a superior destination. He contrasts the lack of inappropriate or degrading equality in the United States with England. The letter concludes with an emotional request for his wife to give their children a kiss on his behalf.
In his effort to convince his wife to relocate to the United States from England, John Downe employs various rhetorical techniques. He portrays America as a hospitable and comforting place, employing a persuasive tone and appealing to emotions in order to establish a bond with his wife.