Jonathan Swift’s Registers in A Modest Proposal

LADAPO, Folorunso Oladeji


This paper attempts to make a stylistic analysis of Jonathan Swift’s registers in A Modest Proposal.  In literary writing, a writer chooses his words with care, making sure that the words fit properly into the discourse.  This proper choice and use of words is ‘diction’.  In carrying out the subtle task of ensuring proper diction, most writers often search for relevant technical terms appropriate to their discourse with a view to achieving realism.  Thus, a writer becomes a roving camera, delving into other disciplines so as to achieve this realism.  Using the Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT), it is discovered that Swift achieves profound literary realism in A Modest Proposalthrough appropriate diction and navigation in various registers to the extent that one is prone to conclude that Swift’s profession is multi-dimensional in nature, a positive chameleon in terms of his calling; indeed a literary rainbow with several appearances.  Though a single human being, he is discovered to be a man of many diverse parts through his diction that cuts across nine professions/disciplines.  He is a literary writer who delves into various professions simultaneously to have an organic unity which natural novels have in common.  This paper therefore submits that A Modest Proposal is a literary work that exemplifies convergence adjustment aspect of the Communication Accommodating Theory of Howard Giles as a means of effective communication in literary writing.

Keywords:Communication Accommodation Theory, Register, Profession, Diction

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/11-16-04

Publication date:August 31st 2021

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©