A Satirical Essay by Jonathan Swift

Swift begins by presenting the horrifying circumstances of the poor in Ireland to gain sympathy – known as an appeal to pathos. He discusses how the mothers are all beggars with many children at her side to feed and clothe. He explains how his plan will contribute to the care, feeding, and clothing of thousands of people. How it will provide an income to the mothers who are unable to work and are only able to feed and clothe their multitudes of children by begging.

And, how this begging causes their children to grow up to be thieves and vandals. Though, the sympathy he establishes at the beginning is quickly replaced by disgust after reading a few paragraphs.

Swift blames the affluent landlords and the English for mistreating the underprivileged and creating the poverty that the poor are suffering from. The wealthy landlords were leaving their lands and living in the cities. “Poverty was also caused by absentee landlordism. If the new owners lived on their lands, with the original owners as tenants, conditions were bearable, though degrading.

When they preferred to live on their English estates, rent was extorted through land agents. “(O’Sullivan)

“In its form, Swift’s pamphlet is lucidly logical. Step by step, the speaker outlines the problem, defines his solution, shows its benefits (both direct and indirect), considers and dismantles the obvious objections, shows his proposal’s superiority to other measures, and concludes with a modest disclaimer. Of course, the surface logic only accentuates the irrationality and barbarity beneath this bland surface.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: A Modest Proposal

4.7 (657)

“ Really polite, and a great writer! Task done as described and better, responded to all my questions promptly too! ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

” (Stovel)

Swift illustrates the poverty of the underprivileged group to provoke sympathy and concern from his readers with his outrageous approach. Swift is using the rhetorical strategies of ethos and pathos to appeal to the reader’s logic and emotion. Swift proposes such a grotesque and terrible solution to poverty in order to shock readers into noticing the appalling condition under which the poor of that time lived.

Swift uses his rhetorical technique to draw attention to the brutalities suffered by those who have been somehow disregarded by society by speaking of their shocking living conditions and comparing them to cattle. Swift refers to Irish women as ‘breeders’ and the teenagers to ‘venison’. His comparison of babies to tender meat appeals to the readers sense of humanity and care for helpless creatures. The emotions the reader display of anger, sympathy, and outrage show the effectiveness of Swifts’ use of pathos as a means of “A Modest Proposal” is a satirical pamphlet that scrutinizes the attitude of the wealthy towards the underprivileged starving children in their society. Jonathan Swift uses rhetoric to share his disdain for the English government. Swift wrote this during a time when Ireland was controlled by Great Britain and suffering from poverty due to lack of government and the greediness of the entitled who were too busy living their lives to notice or care about the people in poverty.

Cite this page

A Satirical Essay by Jonathan Swift. (2022, Apr 21). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-satirical-essay-by-jonathan-swift/

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7