Rhetorical Analysis: A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

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A “Modest Proposal” is written by a man who had been exiled from England and forced to live among Irish citizens for many years during which he observed major problems in Ireland that needed a solution. The writer of this piece is Jonathan Swift, and in his proposal, “The Modest Proposal,” Swift purpose is to offer a possible solution to the growing problem of the homeless and poverty stricken women and children on the streets of Ireland. Swift adopts a caring tone in order to make his proposal sound reasonable to his audience, trying to convince them that he truly cares about the problems facing Ireland’s poor and that making the children of the poor readily available to the rich for entertainment and as a source of food would solve both the economic and social problems facing Ireland. The issue is that there is a growing number of poor and starving women and children living on the streets of Ireland that are a burden to the public and the country. The context is that these homeless and starving women and children are left to fend for themselves on the streets. Jonathan Swift is making the argument from the point of a concerned citizen who has spent years among the poor in Ireland studying the situation and trying to come up with a solution. Johnathan Swift used the example that those who visit Ireland and see the streets crowded with women and children that are beggars conclude that Ireland is a very poor, overpopulated country full of beggars and that they look down upon their country that is in such poor shape. His bias is that as a citizen living in Ireland, he does not want to be looked down upon by other countries. His targeted audience seems to be the citizens of the country and those in higher up positions who ... ... middle of paper ... ...that the author is sarcastic about his own proposal, any kind of opposing view or counterargument is in reality the voice of reason and intelligence when compared with Swift’s proposal. The argument is in a way weak or flawed because of the sarcasm at hand. Yes, it is full of satire, but in the following argument Swift builds up his proposal only to diminish the value of his argument by blatantly expressing the sarcasm in this piece. This proposal is flawed throughout the text and is in no way a rational or logical solution to the problem as Swift claims it is. In conclusion, Swift’s proposal is a satire filled piece, which he delivers in a dry indifferent style. His arguments, rationally presented, support an irrational solution to the problem and he evokes pathos in his audience by using only logos in his proposal and that is the brilliance of his piece.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how jonathan swift's "modest proposal" aims to solve the growing problem of the homeless and poverty-stricken women and children on the streets of ireland. swift adopts a caring tone in order to convince his audience that he truly cares about the problems facing the poor.
  • Analyzes jonathan swift's argument that the poor of ireland could stop being a burden by selling their children to the wealthy for consumption and entertainment.
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