The essay “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift was first published anonymously as a pamphlet in 1729. The form of this essay consists of an introduction of his proposal in which he presents the situation of Ireland at the time and builds up momentum towards his proposal, then in the main body he presents his proposal and further backs it with arguments convincing readers of its efficacy and conclusion stating that he is only doing this for the “public good”. Swift unswervingly addresses the state of Ireland, which at the time of English warfare (1629-1640) was left in ruins. Although Swift wrote this essay in 1729, the country took 100 years for the state to rebuild itself. When the reader reads the very title of this essay the words “modest proposal” prepares the reader for a proposals of bettering the socio economic issues. As mentioned earlier the writer here ratifies the persona of a worried economist who gives a ‘modest’ recommendation that, in order to fight poverty and overpopulation of Ireland, poor children …show more content…
The modest proposal is of course anything but modest: It is savage, frightening, perhaps even insane”(Mcgill.enotes). Overall this essay is very disturbing, in the thirty-first paragraph the reader gets a sense of hopelessness when Swift refuses to hear any argument on his proposal saying that, “let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients”(1729:Swift.para 31). This piece of literature is similar to fiction in a way that is gives details insights on the time and place of Ireland, but we know that it is a pamphlet published to propose a radical idea to help change the situation of Ireland. If this was a piece of fiction one wouldn’t take it seriously but even when it’s non-fiction one cannot take seriously this absurd idea of cannibalism i.e. the wealthy eating the children of poor and should take it as a satirical piece of
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Caitlin Chase Mrs. Woodworth AP English Period 5 30 April 2017 A Not So Modest Proposal In an intriguing satirical piece, “A Modest Proposal” tackles the issues of child welfare, indifference of the wealthy to poverty, and economic class divisions.
Swift makes extensive use of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos within the first eight paragraphs to create a strong initial argument that captures the audience’s attention and provide assurance that the information presented is viable. Swift starts with an appeal to Pathos by describing the state of Ireland: “the Streets, the Roads, and Cabin-Doors, crowded with Beggars of the female Sex, followed by three, four, or six Children, all in Rags, and importuning every Passenger for an Alms” (Swift, 1). The description of Ireland leaves a gloomy effect on the audience, as they are met with a somber tone set forth by a description on how thousands of people are affected by the poverty in Ireland. Swift continues this appeal to Pathos by describing the state of families within this poverty: “this prodigious number of Children, in the Arms, or on the Backs, or at the heels of their Mothers, and frequently of their Fathers, is in the present deplorable state of the Kingdom, a very great additional grievance” (Swift, 2). This description of the melancholy state of Ireland creates an emotional appeal because, the thought of having mass amounts of children being forced to cling to their Mothers and Fathers in a desperate struggle for survival, is a morose image.
Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is a very interesting take on how the Irish government should cure the famine that the country was then facing. However, the entire proposal was completely bizarre, and the whole point of the essay was to bring attention to the idea that they needed a solution to the all the problems they were experiencing but the proposal was definitely not it. He even had a strongly developed plan as to how his proposal would work which makes the reader feel as if he is serious about selling children, eating them, and using their skins as a fashion accessory; however, ultimately this proposal was not his true goal. Jonathan Swift skillfully used different styles of writing, such as imagery and irony, to show why the
Rhetorical Analysis Essay: A Modest Proposal Dr. Jonathan Swift places himself as a villain who is willing to do evil deeds to answer hard questions. What pushes Swift to write the essay “A Modest Proposal” is Ireland's economic and social problems. In this satirical essay Swift highlights the problems in Ireland and gives a sarcastic solution to make people feel guilt. Swift’s use of dehumanizing language is used to make the reader oppose Swift’s modest proposal.
When it came to Ethos, Swift was not quite as persuasive as he could have been. He does have a background when it comes to writing about corrupt governments in tales such as “Gulliver’s Travels.” The way Swift wrote this essay, however, makes it feel slightly less objective. Even when he is writing from the point of a wealthier Irishman, his overall tone shows a large amount of contempt towards the higher economic classes. Instead of allowing the readers to read alternative arguments on this subject, he focused strictly on his own opinion.
Popular essayist and satirist, Jonathan Swift, in his pamphlet, “A Modest Proposal,” (which at first was anonymously published) is proposing a solution to end the famine in Ireland. He adopts a sarcastic and straightforward tone in order to explain his outrageous proposal to the Irish public. Swift’s purpose is to bring to light the terrible situation of the Irish people and to propose a way to fix it. In this pamphlet, he proposes to end the famine by outrageously suggesting eating and selling Irish children. Swift begins his pamphlet by describing the sad and poor Irish streets with mothers and child beggars in rags.
Jonathan Swift is an enlightenment thinker that uses satire in his writings to bring awareness to the political power and mistreatment of the people of Ireland, ‘‘he was angry or in a fit of despair over Ireland 's economic condition’’(DeGategno). Swift uses satire throughout his proposal, by suggesting to the people of Ireland that they should harvest the little children of the poor. Swift stated that by making ‘‘Them Beneficial to the Public", Ireland would be in a better circumstance. Swift proposed that the poor children 's guardians should give birth to however many number of children as would be possible and offer them for sustenance. Instead of Swift addressing the issue straightforward, Swift used Satire ¬¬¬¬which employs irony sayings- one thing while meaning its opposite—in order to present an argument.
At the time when Swift’s proposal was made, Britain’s dictatorial reign in Ireland had left the nation in poverty and disarray. Criticising a nation was much easier to do in a joking tone or be harder to read rather than direct and upfront. Swift wanted to discuss these issues and found by writing in satire he could have the readers’ attention in way that a seriously written piece could not reach. Satire is present when Swift convinces the audience that he is an empathetic individual introducing the proposal with a sophisticated and compassionate manner beginning in the sentence, "I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection (1)," luring the reader into a sense of false trust as he begins the descriptions of the poor in Ireland. The reader is led to believe at first that this is a serious essay however it is not until deep into the proposal the reader can see how Swift uses satire to propose his thoughts found in the sentence, “a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled;” continuing on that, “no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust (1).”
Jonathan Swift uses rhetorical devices, logical, ethical, as well as emotional appeals to highlight the difference between Swift’s satirical attitude and the narrator’s serious attitude concerning poverty and starvation. These various articles and different exerts from “A Modest Proposal” show the misleading content of the proposal in order to save Ireland and help them become a free country
In the passage, “A Modest Proposal”, Jonathan Swift utilizes satirical strategies as a tool to express his concerns to his audience. Swift does this to persuade his audience to understand where he is truly coming from. Throughout the passage, Swift protests bad behavior of the culture of poor people and the conditions of the economy. Additionally, he talks about the brutal situations of how the British are treating the Irish. Swift presents his thoughts by using logos, juxtaposition, and satirical comments in order to allow others to comprehend the current situation from his perspective.
Mohammed Ismail AP Language Composition Lyons, William December 9, 2014 Rhetorical Devices Used in Jonathan Swifts Modest Proposal The essay Modest Proposal, written by Jonathan Swift perhaps known better for his novel Gulliver’s travels wrote this piece, because during his time he addressed solutions to many contemporary social issues by writing them on pamphlets. Swift’s main purpose in writing this essay is to avert children from being less of a problem to their parents and the public. The author tries not addressing his subject directly, children, instead Swift introduces the concept of a market, livestock, breeders, etc., to address the overcrowding and poverty stricken children in Dublin, Ireland.
1729, a Papist infected Ireland was being devoured by the taxes that the British placed on them. The taxes were turning into what once was a glorious place into ruins. Jonathan Swift, an Englishman and Irish sympathizer, realized that someone had to do something to wake up the British. This lead to the creation of A Modest Proposal, a pamphlet heavy with irony and juvenalian satire, which was how Jonathan Swift planned on compelling the British to do something about the poor situation in Ireland. His use of rhetorical devices gets his point across in an effective and powerful way.
In the satirical short story, “A Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift depicts the immoral treatment of the Irish by the imperial power, Britain. The 18th century brought great frustrations to Ireland in that the people were being oppressed by imperialism, which led to poverty and hunger. Swift satirically proposes a solution for Ireland’s problems by using a variety of rhetorical techniques: twisted humor, irony, and metaphor. Swift suggests that the only way to save Ireland from overpopulation and poverty is to kill the children of the poor families and serve them to the nobility of Ireland. Swift goes so far as to think of recipes and ways to make the skin into gloves and handbags.
Critical Analysis of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” In the work entitled “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, the theme of social injustice is enhanced by the use of verbal irony to convey a charged message. The ambiguous title and introduction to Jonathan Swift’s masterpiece does little to prepare the reader for shocking content revealed later in the text. Swift’s work is powerful, poignant and persuasive because it strikes at the heart of the modern readers ethics, as it likely would have done for the author’s contemporary audiences. Jonathan Swift’s 1729 masterpiece is a satirical metaphor centered around the pervasive assertion, “the English are devouring the Irish.” Jonathan Swift gives a more comprehensive exordium concerning his work stating that is it “a modest proposal for preventing the children of poor people in Ireland, from being a burden on their parents and country, and for making them beneficial to the public (Swift 1199).