A Modest Proposal - Rhetorical Analysis Essay

737 Words2 Pages

In 1729, Jonathan Swift published a pamphlet called “A Modest Proposal”. It is a satirical piece that described a radical and humorous proposal to a very serious problem. The problem Swift was attacking was the poverty and state of destitution that Ireland was in at the time. Swift wanted to bring attention to the seriousness of the problem and does so by satirically proposing to eat the babies of poor families in order to rid Ireland of poverty. Clearly, this proposal is not to be taken seriously, but merely to prompt others to work to better the state of the nation. Swift hoped to reach not only the people of Ireland who he was calling to action, but the British, who were oppressing the poor. He writes with contempt for those who are oppressing the Irish and also dissatisfaction with the people in Ireland themselves to be oppressed. The real issue being addressed in “A Modest Proposal” is the poverty that was plaguing Ireland. The piece was written at a time when the poor people were seen as a burden to their country and were being oppressed by the wealthy English government and landowners. Swift makes the argument to make the poor useful. He favors the poor and hopes that they will find a way out of their seemingly hopeless destitution, which is why he writes this pamphlet. He is knowledgeable in economics and societal functions, which gives him credibility in addressing the Irish people. His main argument is that babies should be eaten in effort to make use of the poor. He assumes that his audience will be intelligent enough to analyze the satire of his piece and be willed to understand the country’s predicament. Jonathan Swift is a well-known author and satirist who graduated from Oxford University in England. He is very educ... ... middle of paper ... ...He goes into detail about what may happen to the elderly and also addresses other possible solutions that he believes are preposterous. He lists other possible solutions and thoroughly refutes them and wants no discussion of them. He refutes them by saying that many proposals have been given before but most, if not at all, were only suggestions that were not sincere and saw no follow through. Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is a classic piece of satire written in an attempt to draw attention to a serious problem. He does extremely well in providing proof that his solution will be beneficial and instructions as to how it would be implemented. Overall, Swift wrote this proposal to get the people of Ireland to take their predicament seriously and inspire people to come up with solutions that are sincere and will have a lasting and uplifting effect on the country.

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