Rhetorical Devices In Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal

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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. Swift shapes the text in a satiric way to portray to his audience his point of view on the topic at hand, and with the use of sarcasm Jonathan Swift mocks upper-class people who are affected by the overcrowding and poverty in Dublin. The usage of a satiric tone and sarcasm help Swift develop solutions to contemporary social problems that will work. In the “Modest Proposal”, written by Jonathan Swift, diction is a key rhetorical device in this piece, because of the way Swift portrays his thoughts through satire. Diction is the style of speaking or writing determined by the choice of words by a speaker by or a writer, Swift’s audience sees his diction as inhumane because of the way he proposes solutions to the world’s problems, such as in paragraph twenty one where he

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