A Modest Proposal Rhetorical Analysis

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Famine has devastated the land; tiny children with tattered clothes, dirty faces, and teary eyes walk the streets with their families begging for food. That is how seventeenth century Ireland was during the potato famine. During that time period, England had control over Ireland. Jonathan Swift, an Anglo-Irish novelist, did not like how his countrymen, the English, were neglecting the famine occurring in Ireland. To express his frustration, he wrote a satirical essay proposing a solution, called “A Modest Proposal”. In “A Modest Proposal”, Swift uses sarcasm, satire, and symbolism to display the poor conditions of Ireland, and to express his annoyance with his own countrymen and society as a whole in seventeenth century Ireland. Swift’s tone throughout the essay is sarcastic. He first sets a sympathetic mood using imagery to describe the terrible state Ireland is in. “It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town… when they see the streets… crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags and importuning every passenger for alms.” The sympathy displayed adds to the sarcasm and satire he is portraying.…show more content…
“I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional grievance; and therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap and easy method of making these children sound and useful members of the common-wealth, would deserve so well of the publick, as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the

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