Rhetorical Devices In A Modest Proposal

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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. Swift uses a speaker to portray the message he was trying to relay. Swift, as the author, does not believe in the words that are in A Modest Proposal, whereas the speaker is confident in his…show more content…
He utilizes analogies often throughout the essay. He often compares the children, who are to be eaten, to animals.”... twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one fourth part to be males, which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle, or swine...” (65-68) This comparison of animal to human diminishes the value of Irish life. They are being referred to as breeders, not as humans who have emotions, life, and love. He also includes imagery in A Modest Proposal. Swifts exaggerated imagery leaves a strong impact on the reader. In using descriptions like, “...carcass of a good fat child...” (93), he engraves a horrifying image on a baby on a platter in the minds of the reader. The strong uses of imagery throughout the essay bring his point across. A third rhetorical device that this essay is thick with is irony. Swift, as the author, clearly does not believe in this idea, and that is evident through the speakers word choice. He states, “I shall now humbly propose my own thoughts...” (59), before stating his preposterous idea. The word humble is so beyond ironic due to the level of insanity that the proposal
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