Jonathan Swift's essay, "A Modest Proposal," brilliantly employed satire to deliver serious political commentary on the abuses inflicted on poor Irish families by their well-to-do English landlords. Swift, writing as if a statistician who had solved the problems of the poor, unveiled the theory that the Irish could sell their babies as food to the English.
Swift wrote the essay anonymously and in pamphlet form, which at the time was the format for political rallying cries. He ends "A Modest Proposal" with a disclosure that he has nothing personal to gain from the scheme, since his children are too old to make tasty dishes and his wife is past child-bearing age. The essay remains one of the most shocking satires in print, and a primer for satirical essays, such as those found in publications like "The Onion.
Choose a relatively serious topic, such as a social ill whose resolution is hardly controversial, such as crime, disease or poverty. No one is pro-homicide, pro-starvation of children or pro-terminal disease. Then, jot down some outlandish ideas, such as a law that requires all handguns to be painted in floral designs.
Have the argument come from an expert in the field of fashion. Practice and study verbal irony. Verbal irony is defined as a figure of speech in which the writer says the opposite of what he means. It is more than simple sarcasm. Search for examples of verbal irony on the Web. Read it at least twice. Irony is the tool that Swift employed to deliver biting satire. He states that before any other authors represent their suggestions regarding the issue, they should realize that his thoughts that are simple, and above suspicion.
He offers testimony that his suggestion is practicable and includes the reality that the nation has many poor communities and that their administration will always be bankrupt if it preferred to nourish them.
Swift, J A Modest Proposal. Accessed September 14, We will write a custom essay sample on A Modest Proposal specifically for you. Leave your email and we will send you an example after 24 hours If you contact us after hours, we'll get back to you in 24 hours or less.
A Modest Proposal Essay. How to cite this page Choose cite format: How about make it original? As a result, he argues, not only will the population be reduced, but the income of the poor will increase significantly as they sell their children. In developing this outrageous thesis, Swift provides abundant detail, projecting the costs of child rearing which will be saved if the child is eaten , estimating the portion of the population affected, and even providing specific ideas regarding the number of servings a child might provide.
He suggests that the meat of the children of Ireland would be considered a delicacy to both the English and to Irish landowners, and would therefore be highly sought after for feasts and special occasions. Throughout, Swift's satire relies on the persona of the economist, an ostensiblly well-meaning visionary whose sympathy for the poor leads him suggest a remedy of murderous cruelty.
His arguments, rationally presented, support a profoundly irrational proposition, and their appalling callousness radically undermine their benevolent intent.
At its core, his suggestion is that the English and the wealthy landowners of Ireland are causing the poverty and misery of the population. Swift does not spare Ireland, however. At one point he presents a list of alternative solutions to Ireland's problems, none of which were ever attempted.
In the process he emphasizes the number and extent of Ireland's social ills and the indifference and neglect with which they have been treated. At the same time, through the use of the adopted persona, Swift also satirizes those who propose solutions to political and economic issues without consideration of the human cost involved.
With devastating irony, Swift shows the inhumanity of schemes for alleviating the suffering of the poor that are solely based on rational principles.
Somewhat surprisingly, A Modest Proposal received little sustained critical attention until the twentieth century. Most early critics extolled the work but treated it only briefly, judging it to be in a unique class of its own and therefore difficult to analyze.
In the twentieth century scholars began to see the tract as more than a simple attack on particular conditions in Ireland, but as a penetrating interrogation of the political and economic theories that gave rise to those conditions.
Jan 17, · A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in
A Modest Proposal and Other Satires study guide contains a biography of Jonathan Swift, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and .
Get an answer for 'I need an modest proposal idea to write about. It has to be related to our society or the government.' and find homework help for other A Modest Proposal questions at eNotes. "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift is a prime example of satire. Satire is defined as "the use of humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticise people's stupidity and vices, What is the main idea of "A Modest Proposal"? A modest proposal is a work of satire. As such, there are really two main ideas.
Write a persuasive essay of your own that uses some of Swift's rhetorical strategies (adopt a persona, for example, or profess opinions that you do not hold as a way of strengthening your real arguments.). Jonathan Swift's essay, "A Modest Proposal," brilliantly employed satire to deliver serious political commentary on the abuses inflicted on poor Irish families by their well-to-do English landlords.