Please help me find examples of logos, ethos, and pathos in the short story "A Modest Propsal" by Johnathan  Swift.   Thanks in advance

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The ethos, pathos and logos are persuasive appeals.  Logos is the idea of a logical argument.

I believe no Gentleman would repine to give Ten Shillings for the Carcass of a good fat Child, which, as I have said will make four Dishes of excellent Nutritive Meat. (para 14)

This argument sounds pretty logical.  Children are nutritious and cheap, so why not eat them?

Pathos is the idea of using emotion to convince people.

But as to my self, having been wearied out for many Years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of Success, I fortunately fell upon this Proposal, which as it is wholly new, so it hath something Solid and Real, of no Expence and little Trouble, full in our own Power, and whereby we can incur no Danger in disobliging England. (para 17)

Don't you just feel for him?  I'm ready to eat those kids!

Ethos is the idea that a person should be listened to.

A very worthy Person, a true Lover of his Country, and whose Virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased, in discoursing on this matter, to offer a refinement upon my Scheme. (para 17)

Swift encourages us to believe him because a worthy, virtuous person gave him the idea because “so great a Number of both Sexes in every County being now ready to Starve, for want of Work and Service” (para 17). 

In short, Swift uses logic, emotion, and credibility to convince people to eat the children of the poor.


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