Reuniting a Family
Being away from ones family can be an overwhelming experience for an individual. In a “Letter to wife”, John Downe implements rhetorical strategies such as pathos, evidence, polysyndenton, and overall tone to try to convince his wife in moving to the United States from Europe; ultimately making a credible claim to get the wife to be in agreement with Downe.
Pathos is a rhetorical strategy that is used to appeal to the reader’s emotion whether it involves pity, anger, or love. John Downe uses pathos by writing sentences that are filled with emotion. In the letter, John Downe states, “My dear Sukey, all that I want now is to see you, and the dear children here, and then I shall be happy, and not before. You know very well that I should not have left you behind me, If I had money to have took you with me. It was sore against me to do it. But I do not repent of coming, for you know that there was nothing but poverty before me, and to see you and the dear children want was what I could not bear.” Here Downe expresses emotion through words that explain the reason he left his family. Downe tries to gain the wife’s understanding and trust by evoking his true feelings; thus, appealing to her emotions and positive reaction towards the letter. By the use of this rhetorical strategy, John Downe’s effort to convince the wife becomes more prominent and effective.
Evidence is a rhetorical strategy made up of facts given by the author as support for the attitude or tone of the story. In the letter, John Downe states, “you can gather peaches, apples, and all kinds of fruit by the side of the roads. And I can have a barrel of cider holding 32 gallons, for 4s., and they will lend me the barrel till I have emptied it. And I can have 100 lbs. of Beef for 10s. English money. Lamb is about five farthings the pound, and the butcher brings it to your door…I can go into a store, and have as much brandy as I like to drink for three half pence and all other spirits...