A Modest Proposal

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A Modest Proposal

Jonathan Swift establishes credibility through rewording few of his acquaintances: “…a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London… a grave author, an eminent French physician… a very worthy person, a true lover of his country, and whose virtues I highly esteem… the famous Psalmanazar, a native of the island Formosa.” However, because the information he gathers are from people that others would not know of, his credibility is questionable. Nevertheless, he also gives very detailed and specific facts that help support his argument. Basically, Swift appeals to his audience through rhetorical literary techniques—logos, ethos, and pathos. The entire proposal is a measurement of Swift’s ethos and logos. The way he presents his arguments, tests his logos, his ability to reason without hypocrisy, as well as his ethos, how he presents his statements as “modest” and rational. Swift also proposes that we should consider eating not only babies, but also young adults, ages between twelve and fourteen. However, according to his American acquaintance, boys tend to be more tough and lean due to their continual exercise. He also states that the taste is disagreeable. Nevertheless, he goes on by saying that girls will be a good idea; not only would one girl be able to feed lot of people compared to one baby, she would also taste good. Even so, he refuses to continue on with the argument with this specific proposal, because he realizes that it is “a little bordering upon cruelty” as well as the fact that public will be losing soon-to-be “breeders”.
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