Rhetorical Analysis of the Modest Principal

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A Modest Proposal In Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid, Woolf uses many stylistic syntax and diction to argue that women to help fight and help the men at the war front. In the beginning, Woolf uses rhetorical questioning to make women to contribute to the war effort. She asks, “How far can she fight for free freedom without firearms? By making arms, or clothes or food. But there is another way of fighting for freedom without arms: we can fight with our mind” (936). Through this polysyndecton , the repetition of or signifies the need to take action. Through the rhetorical questions, women begin to compare the difficulty of peace. Woolf is trying to paint a picture of the war zone to bring an emotional connection with the audience. She writes, “A bomb drops. All the windows rattle” (937). The use of syntax, and short sentences, Woolf tries to bring the audience into the story. These short phrases depict the destruction and sudden death to the victims, but also the sudden realization to the women at home that they truly need help. Furthermore, Woolf uses more rhetorical questions when se says, “Why not bury the head in the pillow, plug the ears, and cease the futile activity of idea-making? Because there are other tables besides officer tables and conference tables. Are we not leaving the young Englishman without a weapon that might be of value to him if we give up private thinking, tea-table thinking, because it seems useless? Are we not stressing our disability because our ability exposes us perhaps to abuse, perhaps to contempt?” (937). Women have a say to, they can make difference to, even if they are at home or not at the front. She eludes to the fact that they also have say in the community. Thus, Woolf tries to rally the women of this country and to help the men and save them from
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