Swift reveals a sardonic and skeptical way of perceiving issues through his incredible use of satire, tone, and logos. The reasoned and confident tone Swift embodies cannot be mistaken; the authorative and motivational appeals give depth and emotion to his argument. In a moment of weakness, Swift admits the strongest objection to any proposal – dealing with the digestion of children – is that it would be regarded as cruel. His tone appeals to gentility at times, because, mainly, he just wants to portray his proposal for stimulating Ireland’s economy.
Beginning the essay in a more satirical and casual way, the proceeding part of the essay delves deeper into the more serious point of Swift’s argument: the United Kingdom turning their head to the fact that Ireland is struggling. “But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because its very well known that they are every day dying and rotting by cold and famine, and filth and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected,” (412) leads into comprehension that he has for too long drawn out this metaphor and decides to embark onto his next point of statistics and family living.
Proven through, “I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance,” (413) Swift thinks of his proposal as the ‘end-all, be-all’ to Ireland’s issue in order to evoke an aura of confidence in England’s trust. Using humor and sarcasm was the only form of writing Swift could use in voicing his opinions because in the 1700s it was illegal to speak out against one’s own government.
... in Swift's 'Proposal.' As a model of rhetorical discourse, Jonathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from ... the opportunity to attach guilt to affliction. (Rosenheim 212) Swift's Proposal fascinates us as the expression of a strange and ... list of 'other expedients' diver the tone of mockery in the essay back to Swift himself. This self-mockery is one of ...
Swift’s style is mostly characterized by his technical diction and ironic essence. His irony and satire is most effective in assuaging possible feelings of disgust from the reader. He hopes that his audience’s own selfish motives are exposed and, through this realization, people are more cognizant of the actions taken. The satirical approach Swift takes in pronouncing his point of view on England’s listlessness in regards of Ireland’s problems helps prove, in a way, the seriousness of the issue.
The quote, “A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore and hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter,” (410) is used to prove how drastically the drought affected farm owners. He speaks tranquilly about the pros and cons of eating children, almost as if his sense of humanity has been destroyed. “… For as to the males, my American acquaintance assured me from frequent experience that their flesh was generally tough and lean… nd their taste disagreeable; and to fatten them would not answer the charge. Then as to the females, it would, I think, with humble submission be a loss to the public, because they soon would become breeders themselves… ” (412).
Swift dances around the fact that the problems faced with ingesting children can be changed, or taken care of, by the Irish without assistance. So why should they not begin devouring their own young if England will not lend a helping ham? Logic is what people will believe, and so Swift tries to accommodate this knowledge to the best of his abilities.
Trust in the author heightens the appeal to an argument from reason, thus involving logos. Differing from pathos, logos give emotional appeals without directly involving a position on the subject. “There only remain 120,000 children of poor parents annually born” (409).
This particular statement bears no importance toward an opinion, but it does, in fact, support the purpose. Telling that there are such an exorbitant amount of children born into unstable homes supports Swift’s idea that these children might as well be eaten – rather than live a life of misfortune.
A Modest Proposal In Swift s A Modest Proposal he discusses how he wanted to prevent the poor children to no longer remain a burden to their parents or to the country, but instead to make them more beneficial to the public. Swift also wanted to expose the economic restrictions that the British had imposed upon them. Swift also mentions how some of the Anglo- Irish cooperated in their exploitation ...
When Swift is accounting the advantages of his proposal he computes the logistics himself, “…the maintenance of 100,000 children from two years old and upward, cannot be computed at less than 10s a piece per annum, the nation’s stock will be thereby increased 50,000 per annum…” (413).
Ireland’s stock market is depicted to need the profit made from selling children. Other advantages are likely to spring up, so Swift tells, “many other advantages might be enumerated… the addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of barreled beef, the propagation of swine’s flesh, and improvement in the art of making good bacon…” (414).
Swift’s reasoning is sound and is almost like a slippery slope of rhetoric, sliding towards Ireland’s sudden uprising. The surprise that takes over one’s intellects upon the initial reading of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is refreshing and unexpected. The shift towards understanding of Swift’s proposal, once the setting is realized, is comparable to the shift in tone from mocking to thoughtful.