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Hardship In Ireland In A Modest Proposal By Jonathan Swift

1071 words - 5 pages

In Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” written in 1729, he writes of the hardships faced by the lower class and proposes a solution to help it out. Living in Ireland, Swift witnessed many hardships suffered among the poor, such as stealing and begging. However, not too far away, the British royalty was living a lavish lifestyle, and by doing so, it was sucking the life out of the poor. Jonathan Swift saw this enormous unbalance of wealth and wanted to do something about it. Therefore, in his article, “A Modest Proposal”, Swift’s aims to publicly humiliate the rich by demonstrating how they always take from the poor. Meanwhile, the author is also trying to anger the lower class in order to ...view middle of the document...

Jonathan Swift uses ethos to persuade the audience. As an Ireland native, swift shares some of the same struggles that he describes in “A Modest Proposal”. Swift has seen what the bottom looks like and how the poor struggle to survive every day, such as the begging and stealing that goes on in the streets. This gives the author credibility to write about the lower class’s lifestyle in order to get his point across to the readers. Also, Jonathan Swift strengthens his proposal of selling off children for food by stating that he has no children of his own to profit from. This is an example of ethos because it gives the author credibility by showing that he does not care for the money, but rather for the greater good of society.
Another form of rhetoric used by Swift in his article is logos. The author uses a lot of logical reasoning to support his argument. For example, the writes that creating a new dish, the babies, for the wealthy will allow the poor to earn much needed money, and it will rid them of the demanding task of having to support said babies. In essence, Swift is saying that the wealthy will benefit by having more food, and the poor will benefit from receiving the monetary value of their babies. This shows logos in that logic is used to explain and support the author’s argument. Also, Swift proposes that his idea will control the population of the already overpopulated cities. This once again uses logic to support the argument that the author is putting forth.
Finally, Jonathan Swift uses many examples of pathos to ignite an emotional response from the readers. The author does not really want to use babies as food for the rich; that would be plain insanity. Instead, Swift is using his absurd proposal to poke fun at the wealthy and make the lower class’s voice be heard. For example, the author goes into great detail of how the babies will be butchered and served on a silver platter for the rich. He does this to make the rich feel...

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