Why Don T We Complain Analysis

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Despite the many issues worth complaining about in the world today, most people are reluctant to complain. However, when problems are not confronted, they cannot be solved. In their respective essays, Jonathan Swift and William F. Buckley, Jr. discuss the idea that a society that is apathetic toward its problems cannot advance. In the satire "A Modest Proposal," Swift mockingly suggests a "modest" solution to improve the economy and address starvation in Ireland in 1729 because at the time, the government had not done anything to solve the dilemma. He proposed that the Irish citizens start selling and eating their own children. "Why Don't We Complain" is a politically-focused article written in 1961 in which Buckley, one of the most influential…show more content…
Anaphora builds a clear path for this argument. Tracy G Mehan III, an adjunct professor at George Mason University School of Law, describes how in his time, Buckley was an extremely influential conservative writer in America due to "his sparkling wit and trenchant analysis." Buckley's essay is effective in argumentation because its syntax highlights his wit and analysis. Buckley begins the essay by complaining that the temperature on his train is far too hot. He comments that his annoyance would be remedied quickly if the heat would just be turned off. As Buckley points out in his essay, the underlying issue is much greater than it initially appears: "All of this is so obvious. What is not obvious is what has happened to the American people. It isn't just the commuters [...] it isn't just they who have given up trying to rectify irrational vexations. It is the American people everywhere" (Buckley 65). The repetition of "it isn't" builds the climax that eventually resolves in the next sentence. Through this rhetorical device, Buckley expresses that it is not that people are unconcerned with societal problems; it is that few in America are willing to complain about problems and formulate solutions. Through anaphora, Buckley conveys that the issue of Americans reluctantly speaking out against…show more content…
The exemplum suggests a well-researched and thorough, however outrageous, solution to the problems in Ireland to prove that when society is apathetic to its problems, society cannot advance. His proposal is gruesomely convincing because he gives honest and understandable benefits to it. His exemplum includes descriptions of numerous benefits to selling and eating children: "Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of barrel'd beef... But this, and many others, I omit, being studious of brevity" (Swift 399). Here, he not only gives a piece of specific, logical proof that his proposal is reasonable, but he also says that he has thought of so many other advantages that he even had to abbreviate his description of them. This exemplum strengthens his argument by being comprehensive therefore making the proposal seem more morally palatable. Thomas Lockwood, an English professor at the University of Washington who focuses on eighteenth-century literature, comments on Swift's meticulousness: "The astonishing thoroughness… gives it an authenticity quite beside whatever it may involve of satiric hyperbole. Here it is simply a matter of Swift's telling the truth: he saw a monstrous indifference, and he wrote about it so as to make it visible to everyone else." Swift's writing is visceral and satirical,

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