Letter to John Adams by Abigail Adams Analysis Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  853 Words
Date:  2022-08-08

Abigail Adams was an articulate woman who had a tremendous influence on people. Through the letters she wrote to her son and husband, she became an influential woman. She was clever enough to not mention her husband's name in the letters, but she did say "my friend". Since his name wasn't on the letter, it was impossible to say that she was giving him information. Abigail Adams was so intelligent and influential, that we can still see her letters in the history books. She was vocal about issues surrounding slavery, female equality, and taxation.

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Abigail Adams' letter addressed to John Quincy Adams, her son who would become President of the United States, is filled with encouragement and comfort for him. She also addresses his concerns about the dangers that he might face while traveling abroad to France as a diplomat from the United States. Her son is reassured and encouraged by her to take full advantage of this opportunity, which will be a great benefit. He will be able to expand his mind and gain wisdom by being a witness to the difficulties he will encounter and learn from. She appeals to the emotions and logic of her audience by using imagery, allusion and imagery. Adams communicates her determination to help her son experience the value of experiences while on his travels. Adams also maintains a positive tone and is persistent.

Adams begins her letter acknowledging that John Quincy Adams was reluctant to embark on the long and crucial voyage with his brother and father because of the "enemies and the dangers that the sea" he might encounter along the way. She quickly contradicts the notion and reminds her son she wouldn't have "readily accepted" her advice to travel if she didn’t believe he would enjoy the experience. She can demonstrate her ability to use allusion when she explains how he will benefit from the travel experiences that he will have. When she recalls an author who represents the "traveler along a river", and how it will flow, she is able to describe his journey. She suggested to her son that he should make the most of this trip in order to enrich his mind and expand upon what he sees. Adamas can inspire confidence in her son through her example of Cicero, the hardships of being "roused and kindled by the tyranny Catiline, Verres and Mark Antony", and was able ultimately to succeed. This gave Adamas the assurance that his decision to embark on this journey was not a mistake, but a chance for growth.

By boosting her son's self-esteem, informing him about what she expects of him on this trip and helping him spread his ideas to improve the country, she is able to convince him that he did not make a mistake in embarking on this diplomatic mission. He being "an eyewitness to these calamities" during his father's journey. These calamities are "War, Tyranny, and Desolation" in his country and the countries he will visit. Abigail sees the potential of her son to have a bright future and makes it clear that he is learning from his journey. "To owe your existence to a people who have made a glorious defense for their invaded liberties." He is convinced by her that these benefits are possible "under the attentive eye of a tender parent" and to pay attention to his surroundings to learn from them. This will enable him to learn and grow in the future.

Her use of a maternal tone towards her son throughout her letter gives credibility to her argument. She opens the letter by writing "My dear Son" and reassuring him about his fears. She also expresses concern for his safety, saying that she "should not have urged you to join your father and brother when it appeared that you were so averse towards the voyage". If she hadn't known that he would make the most of this opportunity to her advantage. He is able to feel better about his hesitation when she assures him that she doesn't expect him to disappoint her and that he will take advantage of the new opportunities. Adams convinces her son to feel pride and duty by telling him that he will not only benefit greatly, but also have the opportunity to bring honor and benefits to his country. By aligning herself with her son’s values and devotion, she then adds that this will also "render you parents supremely Happy". This will create a sense of joy for her son to be proud of his parents, particularly his mother, by following her advice. He will be able to benefit greatly from his experience, whether it's dangerous or just learning.


Abigail Adams wrote John Quincy Adams a letter in which she conveyed her determination to help him learn more through the new experiences that he will have along his journey. To ease his mind, she can use her mother's advantage. He will be able to learn from everything he sees, and how these events will help him grow with the knowledge he has gained through his travels.

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Letter to John Adams by Abigail Adams Analysis Essay. (2022, Aug 08). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/letter-to-john-adams-by-abigail-adams-analysis-essay

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