Rhetorical Devices In A Modest Proposal

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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. He continues to state that the overwhelming number of children is one of the root issues of the state of the kingdom. When …show more content…

And all the information the American gives on how to prepare a child to eat helps hold up the credibility of what Swift has to say. Irish man Swift was not afraid to take a couple of jabs at the greedy English rule. “I grant this food [children] will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.” Swift is utilizing a metaphor here, he means that the English landlords take so much money from the Irish peasants that they have figuratively “devoured” the parents already. He more than blames the English for a lot of Ireland’s problems and it shows through his ironic and humorous …show more content…

He does this to keep the genre a satire if he were to switch to considering these more reasonable options the force and flow of his essay would be lost. As Swift has been offering a satirical and outrageous proposal he is basically stating that the other expedients, like “taxing,” are dumb and killing the poor would be of better use. It is obvious to the reader that killing people is not the best option so by brushing off these other proposals he actually draws attention to

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