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Modest Proposal

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  • June 17, 2013
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A Modest Proposal Rhetorical Essay

Jonathan Swift, “Modest Proposal” is mocking the government and the English people and seeking a change in the way Irish people are living. Jonathan Swift was effective using ethos, pathos and logos to bring attention to the bad situations that the Irish people went through. Irish people were starving and dying, while the English landlords were exporting gain. Jonathan Swift uses tones of sarcasm and irony in order for people to get his purpose. Jonathan Swift is effective using ethos to make his proposal to the English people which were using the poor infants as food to profit the rich people. Jonathan Swift writes, “I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or broiled; and make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.” (Swift 389) Jonathan is saying that by the age of one an infant will be ready to be eaten by the rich people whichever way they want it to be done. Jonathan is being sarcastic in telling the people that the infant will be ready at age one. Jonathan Swift is also effective in using pathos to make his proposal. It states, “These mothers instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their hopeless infants: who as they grow up either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country to fight for the pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbados,” (Swift 387) He says this to make us the reader feel sorry for the poor infants because either they turn into thieves trying to survive or they will fight for the pretender or they would just sell themselves to other people to be eaten by. Jonathan Swift is effective in using logos to make his proposal of the infants to the rich. He writes, “At a year old, be offered...