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A Modest Proposal Case

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Jonathan Swift's legendary satirical work, A Modest Proposal, has long been recognized as the beginning of a long tradition of writing for the purpose of mocking the establishment. Swift treats the devastating state of affairs in his homeland, Ireland, with contempt and sarcasm, expressing the unfavorable economic conditions of his home land. Through the use of his ironic persona, Swift uses rhetorical strategies to hook the readers in the first 6 paragraphs of his work.

In the first paragraph of the proposal, Swift's ironic persona is very evident. By stating that families have, "three, four, or six children," he is quantifying the number of children in Ireland. This makes people wonder how the children are being supported. It shows people that the conditions are not ideal, and that the streets are overcrowded. He also refers to the women as the "female sex" which desensitizes the audience, and makes the female population seem inferior. Using these rhetorical strategies, Swift makes the audience ready for the proposal by making it seem like the streets are way too crowded, and something needs to be done about it.

In the second paragraph, Swift says that the kingdom is in a "deplorable state" and "whoever finds an easy, cheap, and fair way to solve the problem should be idolized." This makes the readers feel like they can do something about the economy by doing something about the children. This makes the audience ready for the proposal by appealing to the

economy of Ireland. Anything to improve the economy would be a good idea at that point in time. The audience is looking for ways to improve the economy at this point, so when Swift proposes his idea, they will be ready.

The third paragraph is shorter, but has a great impact on the readers. His ironic persona makes the children seem like nothing but "... professed beggars", and that they "demand our charity in the streets." What Swift is doing here is making the readers think that the children are a nuisance,



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