immodest proposals the rhetoric of irony n.
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Immodest Proposals: The Rhetoric of Irony

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  1. Immodest Proposals:The Rhetoric of Irony

  2. Jonathan Swift

  3. Swift (see 381) • 1667-1745 • Born where? • Ireland • Prelate of ____ church • Anglican • Other famous works? • Gulliver’s Travels

  4. “A Modest Proposal” • Adopts a persona • The danger…? • What are his … • tone? • rhetorical strategy? • organization? • likely real point of view and rhetorical purpose? • tip-off(s) that this is ironic? (Does he break character?)

  5. Tone • See paragraphs 1, 8 etc. (NS p.383), • self-effacing, • respectful of other commentators • dispassionate, reasonable, • sympathetic where (superficially) appropriate

  6. Rhetorical purpose? • Persuasive • Thesis? (See parag. 9)

  7. Organization • Attention-getter? • Description of problem & alternatives • His thesis? (See parag. 9) • His case: list of advantages(par.21-28. Pp.386-87) • Rebuts other “projectors”See parag. 18—especially its tone—and 29-30 (388) • Clincher?

  8. Real purpose? • Satirical • His agenda? • Clues: How can we tell ?CRUCIAL! • See: • parag. 9, • also 29-30

  9. On site: • “Maintaining the Crime Supply” (NS 335) • “Reply to the U.S. Government” (367) • “The Back of the Bus” (37) • “None of This is Fair” (47) • Rhetorical purpose? • Strategy? • Device(s)? • Tone?

  10. Other issues Vulnerable to the Reductio technique? What else bothers you? In… • Home? • Relationships? • School? • Community? • Nation?