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Analysis of Jonathan Swift’s Use of Logos in a Modest Proposal

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Logic is the reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. In “The Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, he uses logos to explain his solutions to the problem of starvation. He labels how logic and satire is helpful to help highlight his points. Jonathan Swift explains how a complex problem such as famine requires a complicated solution but can be resolved. Pathos and Ethos are prevalent throughout the short story although Logos withhold a bigger role to his proposition and solution.

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Swift employs logos when talking about his solutions to the problems that they are facing. Swift states, “Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither clothes, nor household furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury: Of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity,idleness, and gaming in our women.” The points that Swift highlights are important for the country because it does not put blame on a group but, instead of the country as a whole. The real solution is very difficult and requires the cooperation of the whole country in order for it to work. The two different religions will need to stop fighting each other in order to survive the crisis at hand. Swift refers to women as breeders in the beginning of the story in order to help rationalize the idea of stopping people from objectifying women.

Although Swift uses logos to underline his main idea some of his values are illogical even though they are not meant to be taken seriously, in which he writes, ”A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends and when the family dines alone, the for or 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.” This toys with the idea of eating children which is unethical and immoral which could cause disgust or confusion towards his point. He exemplifies the children as animals like sheep which could be eaten or used as clothes. This logic could cause the dehumanization of children which could alter the size of the population.

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The logos that Swift provides in the story are valid points which could be conveyed negatively as illogical due to his style of writing. Swifts uses a lot of sarcasm and satire which could confuse the reader and make them feel uncomfortable. His logic could also be very resourceful and helpful toward the people though in the end due to it discussing how they could get out of their problems.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Analysis Of Jonathan Swift’s Use Of Logos In A Modest Proposal. (2021, November 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-jonathan-swifts-use-of-logos-in-a-modest-proposal/
“Analysis Of Jonathan Swift’s Use Of Logos In A Modest Proposal.” GradesFixer, 10 Nov. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-jonathan-swifts-use-of-logos-in-a-modest-proposal/
Analysis Of Jonathan Swift’s Use Of Logos In A Modest Proposal. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-jonathan-swifts-use-of-logos-in-a-modest-proposal/> [Accessed 1 Oct. 2023].
Analysis Of Jonathan Swift’s Use Of Logos In A Modest Proposal [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Nov 10 [cited 2023 Oct 1]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-jonathan-swifts-use-of-logos-in-a-modest-proposal/
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