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A Modest Proposal Analysis Essay

  • Date Submitted: 01/03/2014 08:33 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42.8 
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Swift Writing Assignment                                                             Angelica Borges pd. 2

In “A Modest Proposal”, Swift’s cold tone and sarcastic and ironic diction directed to his audience supports his claim that the British are devouring the Irish in their economic and social crisis, and that Ireland should take ownership of their own nation. He accomplishes his purpose by making the British and Irish aware of the severity of their problems, and that they need to take several steps to fix it. His satiristic style is extremely effective in persuading his power hungry audience because he exaggerates by including critical metaphors and imagery of having to eat the children of Ireland as a solution to their immense problem.
Right off the bat, Swift is being ironic by titling his passage “A modest proposal”. He was indeed not being modest whatsoever, even though his rationale behind the irony was in fact modest. He introduces his proposal with the appeal of pathos when he illustrates the poor conditions in which the Irish women are in when they have a child who will end up being another failure to the Irish society. By doing so, he already has the readers’ attention by effecting their emotions and formulating a sort of bias in their thoughts of the situation. Soon after he begins his proposal by saying “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 boyled, and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasie, or ragoust.” (pgph 9) From his narrator point of view, his claim is that in order to improve the Irish situation, they should farm and market babies, and eventually even preteens.   He uses this outrageous proposal as a way to show that even though the problems being faced in Ireland aren’t as severe as actually eating children, they do somehow have the same sort...


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