A Modest Proposal Rhetorical Devices

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A Modest Proposal was written in the early 1700’s and about the starving people of Ireland, by Jonathan Swift. Not only were the people who were ruling the country awful, there were people who were starving, and the gap between the rich and the poor was immense. He uses brutal satire and irony to express his irritation with the countries lack there of ideas on how to solve the problems afflicting it. Swift uses rhetorical devices throughout the essay to build support for the solution that the persona he created has stated. Which is the idea of using infants as a primary source of food. Swift’s persona uses pathos when he states “..as they grow up either turn Thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native Country to fight for the Pretender…show more content…
Since “Infant's flesh will be in Season throughout the Year”, it is more logically found that food will be more plentiful. He also gives many statistics on the amount of the children that should be used as food. He states “There only remain an hundred and twenty thousand Children of poor Parents annually born”(Swift 6). The parents of the children being eaten, or “Breeders”, as Swift calls them, not only get a generous income, but also are relieved of the duty of raising their children. Overall it may be said that Swift’s persona uses rhetorical devices ethos, pathos, and logos to support his proposal to eat children. He uses ethos to set his credibility in the reader's eyes by referencing knowledgeable and respected sources. Pathos was used to draw out a sympathetic feeling from the reader’s toward the impoverished beggars, and the children of said beggars. Logos was used to drive home the idea that the consumption of children would get rid of the starvation and poverty that was being faced. These devices were used so effectively that it would be practically illogical to oppose his

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