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Rhetorical Analysis - Essay Example

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In the article ‘A Modest Proposal’, Jonathon Swift makes use of ethos, pathos and logos in order to convince his audience of his argument, though it is not successful purely due to the extremity of the subject matter. By appealing to the emotionality and sentiments of the…
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Rhetorical Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages Firstly, the exigence, or problem presented is the issue of an abundance of poor children of beggar women present on the streets of Ireland, and the burdens that these children bear upon the countries economy and poverty stricken parents. This is an exigence, as such a problem can certainly be modified or improved via human interference. Swift uses persuasive language to describe this problem in a way which exemplifies and presents it in a very particular light which suits his argument. The second part of the rhetorical situation here, is the audience, being those citizens of Ireland which are capable of contributing and making a difference to the problem as Swift suggests. Lastly, the constraints of the situation are presented as being related to time and money. However, the author conveys them as being possible to overcome by explaining specific ways in which the constraints and problem can be solved and/or improved.
One of the principal ways in which Swift attempts to move the audience is by the use of pathos. Pathos is identified as being the use of language, words, style and tone with a view to appealing to the emotions of the reader in some way. Swift achieves this quite effectively in several ways throughout the article. For example, he uses very specific words and phrases which directly appeal to emotional sensibilities such as ‘melancholy’, ‘poor innocent babes’, and ‘inhuman’. Such specific terms and phrasing are quite shocking and very fervently appeal to emotions. The author also uses whole sentences in this context, which can be seen throughout the article, for example, ‘that horrid practise of women murdering their bastard children, alas!’ By describing the action as ‘horrid’ and using personal exclamations such as ‘alas!’ with an exclamation mark, Swift is making very strong and direct attempts to convey the unfortunate events to the audience in ways which appeal to their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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