Rhetorical Strategies In John Downe's Letter To The United States

Words: 619
Pages: 3

In 1830, Downe writes a letter to his wife using rhetorical strategies to try to convince her to emigrate to the United States. At this time, America was a place where people came to find work to provide food and money for their families back at home. John Downe came to America to do just that. He has earned enough money for his family to join him, and now desperately wants them to emigrate. In Downes letter to his wife he uses rhetorical strategies such as figurative language, rhetorical devices, and purpose.

First, In Downes letter to his wife he uses figurative language to try to convince her to come to America. For instance, Downe states in his letter, “I would rather cross the Atlantic ten times than bear my children cry for victuals once.” This is an example of a hyperbole. Downe wouldn't actually cross the Atlantic ten times, he's just showing how much he cares for his children. Another use of figurative language in the letter is the use of similes. “I went into the market yesterday at New York, and on the outside of the market there was bullocks’ and sheep and lambs’ heads lying underfoot like dogs’ meat.” This
…show more content…
The purpose of his whole letter is to persuade his wife to join him in America by using all the good things this country has to offer. Downe makes the point clear to his wife that there is plenty of food, so there will be no chance of starvation. “They had on the table pudding, pyes, and fruit of all kind that was in season, and preserves, pickles, vegetables, meat, and everything that a person could wish.” Downe also gets the point across to his wife of how different America is from England. Downe states, “America is not like England, for here no man thinks himself your superior.” In England, there wasn't as much freedom given to you as there was in America. It was easy to get walked all over in England, but in America people were treated as