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Charles Kay Smith

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Toward A Participatory Rhetoric: Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, Charles Kay Smith Oct 1968

Toward A Participatory Rhetoric: Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, Charles Kay Smith

Charles Kay Smith

This essay is a literary analysis of the special form of satire Swift invented for A Modest Proposal. Some of Swift's more conventional classical figures of speech have already been noted, though more or less in isolation to one another as well as to larger designs and aesthetic aims. Swift's genius in A Modest Proposal is to create a speaker whose monologue keeps two distinct styles operational at all times. The style of which the speaker is aware is constantly opposed by covert and innovative verbal and grammatical techniques which the proposer sets in motion but of which ...