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Lord Chesterfield’s Letter To His Son Sample



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    The transition below is an extract from a missive written by the eighteenth-century writer Lord Chesterfield to his immature boy. who was going far from place. Read the transition carefully. Then. in a well-written essay. analyse how the rhetorical schemes that Chesterfield uses uncover his ain values.

    Though I employ so much of my clip in composing to you. I confess I have frequently my uncertainties whether it is to any intent. I know how unwelcome advice by and large is ; I know that those who want it most. like it and follow it least ; and I know. excessively. that the advice of parents. more peculiarly. is ascribed to the glumness. the domineeringness. or the 5garrulity of old age. But so. on the other manus. I flatter myself. that as your ain ground. though excessively immature as yet to propose much to you of itself. is nevertheless. strong plenty to enable you. both to justice of. and receive field truths: I flatter myself ( I say ) that your ain ground. immature as it is. must state you. that I can hold no involvement but yours in the advice I give you ; and that accordingly. you will at least weigh and see it good: in which instance. some of it will. I hope. hold its consequence. Make non believe that I mean to order as a apparent ;

    I merely mean to rede as a friend. and an indulgent one excessively: and make non grok that I mean to look into your pleasances ; of which. on the contrary. I merely desire to be the usher. non the censor. Let my experience provide your privation of it. and clear your manner. in the advancement of your young person. of those irritants and sweetbriers which scratched and disfigured me in the class of mine. I do non. hence. so much as intimation to you. how perfectly dependent you are upon me ; that you neither have. nor can hold a shilling in the universe but from me ; and that. as I have no womanish failing for your individual. your virtue must. and will. be the lone step of my kindness. I say. I do non suggest these things to you. because I am convinced that you will move right. upon more baronial and generous rules: I mean. for the interest of making right. and out of fondness and gratitude to me.

    I have so frequently recommended to you attending and application to whatever you learn. that I do non advert them now as responsibilities ; but I point them out to you as contributing. nay. perfectly necessary to your pleasances ; for can at that place be a greater pleasance than to be universally allowed to stand out those of one’s ain age and mode of life? And. accordingly. can at that place be anything more mortifying than to be excelled by them? In this latter instance. your shame and repent must be greater than anybody’s because everybody knows the uncommon attention which has been taken of your instruction. and the chances you have had of cognizing more than others of your age. I do non restrict the application which I recommend. singly to the position and emulation of stand outing others ( though that is a really reasonable pleasance and a really warrantable pride ) ; but I mean similarly to stand out in the thing itself ; for. in my head. one may every bit good non cognize a thing at all. as know it but amiss. To cognize a small of anything. gives neither satisfaction nor recognition ; but frequently brings shame or ridicule.

    The waies for this prompt bear careful examination. The pupil is presented with two undertakings:1 ) Determine Chesterfield’s values.2 ) Explain how he uses rhetorical schemes to uncover those values.

    On the AP Language test. when you see the term “rhetorical schemes. ” know that you are traveling to be analysing an statement. So you should see the entreaties Chesterfield uses– logical. emotional. ethical—and see what those entreaties reveal about his values. Then. excessively. you should look at devices of language—figurative linguistic communication. enunciation. imagination. sentence structure. etc. —and explicate how those devices reveal Chesterfield’s values.

    Chesterfield pairs grants with his ain averments:Using anaphora ( “I know” ) . Chesterfield concedes that his advice will be “unwelcome. ” that parental advice is ascribed to the “moroseness. the domineeringness. or the garrulousness of old age. ” By naming these three parallel traits of the old. Chesterfield dexterously deflects any expostulations his boy may hold to having his father’s advice.

    This grant is followed by Chesterfield’s averment ( prefaced by “But so. on the other hand” ) that his boy is excessively immature to cognize what’s best for him and that the male parent has the son’s best involvements at bosom. His averment is stated in a long sentence syntactically structured like this:

    As portion of his logical entreaty. Chesterfield besides uses the device of antithesis.

    In his first paragraph. he uses two braces of opposing thoughts in the concession/assertion format to thoroughly trounce any possible expostulations his boy may hold to his advice:

    “Do non believe that I mean to order as a parent VS I merely mean to rede as a friend. as an indulgent one. excessively: make non grok that I mean to look into your pleasances VS…I merely desire to be the usher. non the censor. ”

    Chesterfield uses this same rhetorical structure—of utilizing antithesis to develop a grant and an assertion—in the remainder of the missive. Find and compose the other illustrations:


    What tone does Chesterfield create in the really first sentence of his missive? Do you detect how this sentence fits into this antithetical form?Ethical Entreaty

    Chesterfield develops this entreaty most strongly get downing at the terminal of the first paragraph. His complete deficiency and even renunciation of an emotional entreaty is most revealing: he is guided non by “womanish failing. ” or unconditioned love—the “boy” will be treated harmonizing to his “merit. ” or harmonizing to whether he acts the manner his male parent requires him to. He repeats “act right” and “do [ ing ] right. ” because of “affection and gratitude. ” utilizing parallel signifier. In Chesterfield’s moralss. a kid has to gain parental love.

    Expression at the last paragraph and happen other illustrations of an ethical entreaty to his nameless boy. The first illustration is done for you.

    ETHICS ( CHESTERFIELD’S VALUES )CommentSon treated non harmonizing to “womanish weakness” but receives love due to his “merit”—“act [ ing ] right upon more baronial and generous principles” [ than fatherly love ]

    Your illustrations:To Chesterfield. love is earned by plants. non by virtuousness of the father-son relationship. He is emotionally detached. demanding. even dictatorial. Chesterfield manages to do the natural. unconditioned love of parents for their boy seem weak and unmanfully.

    In the 2nd paragraph of the missive. Chesterfield turns from reminding the “boy” of his dependance on his male parent to his advice for wining in the universe. He contrasts a “greater pleasure” with something that would be “mortifying. ” once more utilizing antithetical thoughts.

    What would convey his boy “greater pleasure” in life?

    On the other manus. what would be “mortifying” ?

    What sentence structure technique does Chesterfield usage to progress these thoughts to his boy?

    2004 AP Language ExamQuestion 1: Lord Chesterfield’s missive to his boy

    Lord Chesterfield reveals. through his extended usage of meiosiss ( understatement ) . anaphora ( repeat ) . and assorted other rhetorical manners. his misguided values of competition for its ain interest every bit good as a disdainful high quality composite.

    One of the first things that comes to mind upon reading this essay is the discounting of a statement followed by a subsequent making of that statement. referred to as meiosiss ( understatement ) . Lord Chesterfield employs understatement skilfully. in a manner such that he in kernel casts his son’s thought by stating him precisely what and what non to believe. From the oncoming. it is clear that Lord Chesterfield is in control. As a parental figure. the Lord knows “how unwelcome advice by and large is. ”but reassuredly consoles his boy “that I can hold no involvement but yours. ” This making is elusive but of import. set uping Lord Chesterfield as a beneficent presence. non as an intrusive force. The clearest illustrations of Lord Chesterfield’s usage of understatement prevarication in the jussive moods handed down to the boy. as if to state “don non think…do non apprehend…” Lord Chesterfield wishes to strike all possible misconceptions held by his boy about his parental doctrine.

    The Lord is “not the censor” & A ; does non “hint” how perfectly dependent you are upon me. ” What he does alternatively is “point them out to you as conducive…” The Lord reveals his doubtful morality to his boy in his entreaties to the son’s instruction as evidences for a competitory spirit and an overall composite that would hold made Feud shrivel. All of the instruction conferred upon the boy. we are told. was done so upon the uttered premise that “I do non restrict the application which I recommend. singly to the position and emulation of stand outing others…” In kernel. the Lord conveys to his boy a sense of an familial privilege meant to promote him above all in every possible sphere.

    The dramatic usage of anaphora ( repeat ) comes in as a close second in its importance to the transition as a whole in that it serves to stress the arrangement of the Lord as an authorization figure in his son’s life. non to be questioned. From the oncoming. we as readers are told of how much “I know…” by the August Lord every bit good as the extent to which “I only…” Such comments could normally be guiltless plenty in most scenarios. but non in this case due to the decisions drawn from the introductory premises. Indeed. the Lord does “flatter myself. ” twice in fact. His tone comes off as condescending and haughty. as befits his ulterior subsequent comments. Some other interesting rhetorical schemes include initial rhyme in “attention and application to whatever you learn. ” The alliterative quality of this series drives home the nature of the father’s outlooks towards his boy. A typical usage of tricolon in “the glumness. the domineeringness. and the garrulousness of old age. ” qualities which the Lord no uncertainty distances himself from. farther cementing his haughtiness.

    In summing up. Lord Chesterfield employs authoritative schemes of rhetoric drawn from the ancient Greeks and Romans to present a missive that is unmistakably clear. The Lord is go throughing the torch to his boy in a mode that he sees as best accommodating his intent. The values instilled. nevertheless. leave something to be desired.

    Lord Chesterfield begins his missive by being blunt with his boy: “I cognize how unwelcome advice by and large is. ” he admits. He sets up a tone of honestness and fairness that one should see in a father-son missive. Chesterfield besides understands the withdrawal from young person that comes with age. yet pleads. “I can hold no involvement but yours in the advice I give you. ” By instantly set uping his intent and being unfastened to a hesitating reaction from his boy. Chesterfield is sagely expecting the said reaction. and by making so. trusting to enchant his boy in the missive.

    The writer continually tries to stress his attention without coming across as a doting and annoying parent. He characterizes himself alternatively as a “guide. ” and a “friend. ” As a usher. Chesterfield draws from his ain yesteryear errors to maneuver his boy off from them. To show this sentiment. the writer uses a metaphor of “thorns and sweetbriers which scratched and disfigured me…” By utilizing a metaphor that provokes images of disfigured organic structures and cicatrixs. lasting symbols of folly. the writer is stressing the danger and permanent effects of adolescent errors.

    Chesterfield’s 2nd manoeuvre involves emotional entreaty ; more specifically: guilt. The writer pushes “noble and generous principles” on his boy by prematurely asseverating that he will make the right thing. “out of fondness and gratitude to me. ” Showing this image of the morally ideal boy puts force per unit area on his immature boy to continue the image and non let down his expectant male parent.

    In the shutting paragraph. Chesterfield addresses the cognition his boy must endeavor to derive. Implying a richly educational upbringing. the writer states that “attention and application” is no longer a responsibility but necessary to life. This reveals cognition to be a highly-esteemed value in Chesterfield’s eyes. The writer goes on to utilize rhetorical inquiries to stress the significance of acquisition: “Can at that place be a greater pleasance than to be universally allowed to stand out? ” Continuing. Chesterfield warns that “To know a small of anything gives neither satisfaction nor recognition. ” His tone here is austere and dignified. demoing this is a affair he takes earnestly.

    Through the missive. Chesterfield eased his manner from an understanding friend to a preaching parent and everything in between. “I have frequently my uncertainties whether it is to any intent. ” he confesses. yet with this like an expert written missive. he should kip soundly.

    In his missive to his going boy. the Lord Chesterfield gives his boy some counsel which clearly reflects his ain sentiments about value. Chesterfield is both implicative and condescending. but his positions are clearly expressed.

    Lord Chesterfield. seeking to look as a friend more than a male parent. suggests that his boy should use himself to what he does. “I have so frequently recommended to you attending and application to whatever you learn. ” He so goes on to depict this trait as “necessary to ) his son’s pleasances. ” Clearly. Chesterfield admires complete attending and application. as he suggests that it is of import for enjoyment of life! This instead forceful suggestion does non hold with his aforesaid point of position. “as a friend. ” The Lord besides expresses what values he expects from his boy through his superciliousness.

    Chesterfield suggests that “ ( his son’s ) shame and repent must be greater than anybody’s. because…of your education…and chances. ” The deduction here is that as his boy was so fortunate in his upbringing and readying for life. he should stand out in every facet of it. Since he as yet has non exceeded outlook. his life has therefore far been black in his father’s eyes. Lord Chesterfield feels his boy should non “know a small of anything. ” because this “often brings shame or ridicule. ” Here. the Lord suggests his boy is a shame because he has non applied himself in a mode suiting his first-class chances and upbringing. After all. this is evidently a trait held in high regard in the Lord Chesterfield.

    Lord Chesterfield’s Letter To His Son Sample. (2017, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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