A Modest Proposal Rhetorical Analysis

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Pamphlets were often used to spread ideas throughout Ireland in the late 1600s, however, many were discarded and ignored. “A Modest Proposal,” by Jonathan Swift, uses the pamphlets to his advantage by proposing a ridiculous idea to show how messed up the state of Ireland was. Swift proposed that the babies of all the poor would “contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands” or in other words, improve Ireland 's economic problems and standard of living (Swift). His main reason for proposing this drastic idea was because women continued to have children they could not provide food or anything for in some cases and Swift’s idea would make the children “beneficial to the public” (Swift). For these reasons, Swift looks at not only the politicians to blame for the poor conditions but the citizens of Ireland as well. In “A Modest Proposal”, Swift uses harsh …show more content…

His very different tones throughout “A Modest Proposal” helps the reader realize that the essay’s idea is absurd. Swifts tone at the beginning of the essay is very sympathetic towards the people of Ireland, but his sympathy hastily goes away when he suggests his idea. Swift changes the tone of the essay so drastically it shocks the readers by making “A Modest Proposal” very ironic to its name.
In “A Modest Proposal”, Swift does not blame everything on the people of Ireland. In fact, he says that the people, politicians, and English were all at fault for the horrendous state the country faced. One annoyance Swift states is that the poor infants, if they survive their childhood years, would “leave their dear native country to fight for the Pretender in Spain” or “they would sell themselves to the Barbados,” as indentured servants (Swift). He suggests that the lack of nationalism and pride in their country has led citizens to just leave instead of trying to fix the problem leading to the country 's

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