A Modest Proposal: Rhetorical Analysis

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A Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift, is a satirical pamphlet that was published to the public in 1729. Its purpose was to shock the citizens of Ireland with an appalling solution to their economic troubles at the time. Swift’s purpose for A Modest Proposal was to present a horrific solution for an ever growing problem in Ireland. He adopts an aloof but eerily serious tone to grab the attention of the lower and middle class. The issue in Ireland was the economy and the lack of efficiency from the system. People were poor, hungry, and the increase of births created a high demand to feed more mouths. Swift realizing that a change was needed, wrote and published many literary works to get his opinions and ideas to the public. But A Modest Proposal was the most ground breaking and shocking literary work for its time. At the end of A Modest Proposal Swift reveals that his intentions were pure and that his desire was to help the citizens of Ireland. The main point Swift writes about is the lack of food and the hungry mouths to feed. He uses his satirical charm by stating a solution to eat babies. This is an absolutely appalling and horrific idea but it does its job by capturing the reader’s attention. He starts off A Modest Proposal with this idea then later goes into detail expressing the pros and cons of the solution. Swift then reveals the true problem that Ireland’s society faces and expresses an urge to change the system. He then ends by showing that his words can be backed by his true intentions, thus creating a sense of trust to what Swift is saying. Swift’s goal was to capture Ireland’s attention in hopes that they will realize that they need to fix their situation or be forced to find a different food source. When the reader ... ... middle of paper ... ...ir heart stings by giving them hope. Swift presents the idea that children can be a great help to solving their situation. This further interests the reader to continue on and find out what Swift is proposing. Swift realizes that there may be some opposition. So he finds the weak point in the opposing argument. This idea might cut the population in half, but what of it? Why should the idea be shot down when there seems to be no other hope? Swift takes this chance by truly showing the reader the real problem. The government, taxes, and any other greedy force that has brought society to the point of starvation. The only problem with this argument, or “proposal”, is that no one in their right mind would be able to kill and eat babies. Unless people throw away their values and humanity just to survive. But people always find a way to survive and still remain human.
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