A Modest Proposal examines
the attitude of the rich towards the poor children in their society. There are
many rhetorical devices effectively affectively used to highlights Jonathan
Swift proposal. He uses metaphors, repetition, logical fallacies and humor, parallelism,
sarcasm and satire tone to highlight the negative attitudes. He starts his proposal by blaming
and mocking the children’s mothers by informing them that instead of begging
for alms (aka money) they should just get engaged or find a job to earn a fare
rage for a hones living. Jonathan Swift goes
on by predicts the future of the children saying that as they grow up they will
become thieves. The reason for this is because he says the parents failed to
raise their children the modest way.
Modest Proposal” logical fallacies are clearly used to make his argument clear.
However, Swift’s argument and his way of thinking lack validity in his own proposal.
You can see this in this on line 33 to 34 ‘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’. What he is saying is that a child makes for a
good meal even though he was arguing that the mothers should raise their children
a better way. Though he goes off topic a bit in those lines his rhetorical devices
can still be seen.
thing he uses is emotional appeal. Swift does this by proposing slaughter
houses to be built and to have butchers be hired to slaughter the children. Swift
continues by elaborates that the children are just like pigs and they should be
roasted. Swift clearly knows that the proposal will reach the minds of many
people because no one wants their children to be butchered like pigs. On line
16 and 17 paragraph five it says ‘prevent those voluntary Abortions, and that
horrid practice of Women murdering their Bastard Children’ which he uses to
catch the emotion of the readers. Swift uses a lot of irony in his proposal. In
paragraph 6 line 19 to 20 ‘I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand
couple whose wives are breeders’ this shows irony because he is insulting woman
by pretty much calling them a child maker. Another example of irony would be in
paragraph 6 line 23 ‘how this number shall be reared and provided for’ both
examples Swift compares women to animals. The reason this makes a good argument
for a satire is because Swift is dehumanizing human beings.The way Swift supports his
argument is by being sarcastic. The way he does this is by describing certain
children body parts as something delicious to eat. In certain occasion he
clarifies this more when he starts talking about the demand of certain body
parts of children. Next Swift goes on and says that healthy children’s skin would
be good for admirable gloves for ladies and summer boots for gentlemen. Across this
means we would have to skin does children which makes this idea ridiculous.
Swift sarcastically suggests that Ireland should use poor children as food and
export the children’s flesh to the rich outside of Ireland. He even says that a
child can be sold for ten shillings. We can see this in paragraph 14 lines 50
to 51 ‘I believe no gentleman would repine to give Ten Shillings for the
Carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have said will make four Dishes of
excellent Nutritive Meat’.