An Analysis Of Jonathan Swift And Martin

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An Analysis Of Jonathan Swift And Martin Luther King Jr. S Stylistic Devices Essay, Research Paper Rhetoric 1b 10/22/1999 An Analysis of Jonathan Swift and Martin Luther King Jr. s Stylistic Devices In a satirical essay, Swift uses Rogerian strategy along with other rhetorical tactics such as specific diction, nuclear emphasis, and multiple double meanings to effectively surface the horrific treatment of the Irish by the English aristocracy. Rogerian strategy focuses on the open exchange of ideas directed toward mutual understanding with emphasis on conceding certain points to gain an understanding of the opposition and in doing so gain ground rather than losing it through a hostile exchange of right and wrong (Cooper/Patton 70). Swift carefully organized his essay so the

audience, the English Aristocracy, would not recognize it as satire and dismiss it right away. Swift begins with a quasi-believable tone, one of an economist trying to solve a problem. The current deplorable state of the kingdom calculated by Swift consists of one hundred twenty thousand children who need to steel and beg just to remain alive (Swift 298). Many before him tried to provide useful solutions but failed. The Irish now left with nothing but what the English give them suffer mass oppression, the real issue Swift wishes to address. Swift establishes a mutual understanding with the English from the beginning, an essential part of the careful construction in his essay. He cannot let on the essay will take a dramatic turn after the flip of the second page. Swift does this

because he wants to give the impression that he shares the same views on the current condition of the kingdom. He wants the English aristocracy to identify with him and his views. When he states I think it is agreed by all parties in the second paragraph and in the fourth As to my own part maturely weighed the several schemes of other projectors but have found them grossly mistaken in their computation Swifts uses a small bit of Rogerian strategy (Swift 298). First he agrees with them on a small point so they are not hostile when later he states their past proposals have miscalculations. This bit of Rogerian serves the purpose of warming up the audience so they get used to agreeing with Swift and having an open mind to new suggestions much like an opening act does for the nights

main act. Swift continues to warm up the audience by recognizing that these children are a charge upon their parents but more importantly to the English a charge upon the parish. All the warming up takes place within the first two pages, an essential part to the effectiveness of Swift s strategy (Swift 298-90). As Swift offers his Modest Proposal we see how ridiculous it is to even fathom eating children but even worse making money off of it. But we still cannot characterize the essay as satirical because he has made no reference to change or exaggeration, the essential ingredients in determining if an essay is satirical. Swifts continues to employ Rogerian tactics to give the appearance of still being on the side of the English aristocracy. Swift specifically points out the fact

that the number of popish infants is at least three to one and an advantage of his still serious proposal will be the lessening of Papist among us (Swift 300). Swift reduces the population from general to a specific religious affiliation and the use of the pronoun us still puts Swift on the English side. Now that Swift has established a mutual understanding he moves to make a suggestion. After stating his computation of nursing a beggar s child and the amount a gentlemen would pay for this child he states the squire will learn to be a good landlord, and grow popular among the tenants (Swift 300). Swift subtly suggests up to this point the squires are not good landlords and not favored among tenants. According to the Rogerian strategy, if Swift were to come right out and say this