A Modest Proposal and Other Satires

A Modest Proposal

In his essay, A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift uses the literary devices of organization, point of view, diction and imagery to maneuver the reader into identifying the need for humans to let both logic and emotion govern decisions.

Jonathan Swift, in order to prepare his audience for his radical proposal to provide for the large starving Irish population, first identifies the problem and provides hard facts before stating his actual scheme, so that the reader may see the logic in his otherwise horrifying plan of eating Irish infants. In the first five paragraphs, Swift addresses the problem of Ireland's huge starving population as an unfortunate predicament, but not one of his own concerns. His explanation appeals to those indifferent about the plight of the Irish beggars, such as the English, informing them of a regrettable fact. However, in the sixth paragraph, in his last attempt to gain the audience's support, he resorts to dry facts, hoping that the readers will abandon emotional ties and regard this problem and its solution with only logic and reason. Swift's organization of the essay, particularly his deliberate delay in stating the thesis, gives him a certain power, by which he shares with the audience...

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