A Modest Proposal Response
By using the elements of persuasive writing, Jonathan Swift is successful with proposing his idea in a “not-so-modest” but organized and efficient way. Throughout A Modest Proposal, Swift uses a calm and even tone to introduce his theory of killing babies for eating purposes and selling them for money. With this, he provides a detailed explanation of why this would be appropriate, making the reader start to question himself/herself:
“There only remains one hundred and twenty thousand children of poor parents annually born. The questions therefore is, how this number shall be reared and provided for, which, as I have already said, under the present situation of affairs, it utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed.” (Swift 2)
In addition, being that this piece was written in 1729, women didn’t have many rights. However, Swift indulges the readers to realize this can give women a job and make them “worthy,” resulting in the men having somewhat more respect for them. On page five as his sixth reason, Swift states, “Men would become as fond of their wives during the time of their pregnancy…nor offer to beat or kick them for fear of a miscarriage.”
Lastly, the language and word choice Swift uses in this persuasive piece is unqiue, for it presents itself in a more modest honest way to keep the tone in his favor. For example on page five he uses the word “mortals” instead of saying children, so readers wouldn’t feel sympathetic.