William Swift 's A Modest Proposal

1483 Words6 Pages
Argument Analyzation of “A Modest Proposal” In the 1700s, Ireland was under the control of the British. They also owned Northern Ireland. The British were causing immense numbers of problems for the Irish people because their policies were leaving people homeless and starving. Jonathan Swift was a man who was born and raised in Ireland during these times. He engrossed himself in Irish politics especially during this time. Swift saw the struggles of the Irish people and became outraged by their conditions. He decided to fight against the British’s actions in a unique way, hoping that it would end this time of extreme poverty for the Irish. To do so, Swift wrote the satirical essay “A Modest Proposal”, using the voice of an upper class…show more content…
The first way Swift does this is by using logos throughout his essay in a way that seems ridiculous, but is quite simple to catch his meaning. On the second page of his essay, Swift calculates the numbers of “children of poor parents annually born” (Swift 764). Though his voice and main purpose is of annoyance and heading toward the solution of eating the children he’s presenting the numbers of poor children in his country, which he concludes is 120,00. This is highly effective for the argument Swift is making because it causes the readers to be aware of the large numbers of poverty right outside in a more subtle than straightforward way. Another attempt at logos is when Swift argues that, “infants’ flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more plentiful in March…” (Swift 765). Swift explains that according to a French physician, after lent an even larger amount of children are born. This is supposedly an exceptional proposition in the speaker’s perspective because there would always be an abundant number of children to eat. Swift’s actual purpose, though, is to show the audience how insensitive it is to ignore the needs of all these starving children. Pathos is used very effectively when Swift describes the homeless on the streets of Dublin in the first sentence; “It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town or travel in the
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