This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Satire In Swift's A Modest Proposal

997 words - 4 pages

Satire in Swift's A Modest Proposal
Swift's aim of his proposal is to expose the cruelty of the rich
landlords of Ireland, who were not being aware of the poverty and
suffering of the Irish people. Swift's proposal is an attempt to
suggest a remedy of Ireland's situation by shocking those who are
powerful enough to inflict change on Ireland's appalling

In order to do this Swift creates an alter ego, a persona who puts
forth the ghastly proposal but in a logical fashion. Swift uses a
'Juvenalian' sort of satire, a way of getting at the reader without
targeting them directly. Swift tries to expose the reality of Ireland
in a discreet and delicate way. His definition of satire is 'Satire is
a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's
face but their own.' This is true in fact for his proposal as the
people who this proposal is aimed for don't realise that Swift is
talking about them until later on, and that's when they see their own
reflection in Swift's Modest Proposal. This is also described as 'The
iron fist in a velvet glove'. The iron fist is the reality hidden
inside the 'velvet glove', the glove being the tone in which the
proposal is written which is pleasant and subdued.

The title alone for the proposal is described as 'Modest', which in a
way is ironic as there is nothing modest about the 'devouring of the
children of the poor'. The Proposer comes across as reasonable with
his thoughts 'Maturely weighed' and thought through and it is as
though he really does care about the welfare of the poor in Ireland.
'It is a melancholy object…' Here the persona (the one proposing his
ideas of devouring the children of the poor) is showing pity for the
Irish and their 'Poor innocent babes' and gets the reader to go along
with this fake pity for them. The persona seems to be immoral and his
ideas to 'help prevent children from becoming burdens to their
parents' are irrational. His solution is unexpected and a little
revolting as the benefits would be tasty meals for the rich and more
money for the poor, as the solution would be for the poor to sell
their children to the rich for them to devour, which with the
situation of the rich landlords in Ireland,...

Find Another Essay On Satire in Swift's A Modest Proposal

Satire of a Modest Proposal Essay

1395 words - 6 pages aspersions on his intended audience. Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” employs despicably vivid satire to call for change in a world of abuse and misfortune. The entire proposal stands as a satire in itself; an analogy paralleling the tyrannical attitude of the British toward their Irish counterparts and the use of babies as an economic commodity. In short, Swift suggests that Irish parents are owned by the British, and babies are property

"A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"

709 words - 3 pages growing problem plaguing Ireland in A Modest Proposal. Throughout the article, Swift makes a motion for the "prevention of the children of poor people in Ireland from being a burden to their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the public (A Modest Proposal, John Swift. 1729.)" Swift outlines the benefits of cannibalism, particularly pertaining to infants. Using logic Swift describes how his scheme will help the poor of Ireland, the

Jonathan Swift's Essay, A Modest Proposal

657 words - 3 pages Jonathan Swift's Essay, "A Modest Proposal" Jonathan Swift in his essay, "A Modest Proposal" suggests a unique solution to the problem concerning poor children in Ireland. Swift uses several analytical techniques like statistics, induction, and testimony to persuade his readers. His idea is admirable because he suggests that instead of putting money into the problem, one can make money from the problem. However, his proposal is inhumane

Satire, Humor, and Shock Value in Swifts' A Modest Proposal

1765 words - 7 pages Satire, Humor, and Shock Value in Swifts' A Modest Proposal Swift's message to the English government in "A Modest Proposal" deals with the disgusting state of the English-Irish common people. Swift, as the narrator expresses pity for the poor and oppressed, while maintaining his social status far above them. The poor and oppressed that he refers to are Catholics, peasants, and the poor homeless men, women, and children of

Satire in A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

905 words - 4 pages common realities that were relatable and indisputably true, “A Modest Proposal” resonated with the Irish community of the time. In modern times, popular satire seems to be about more trivial subject matter, but is nevertheless just as effective as works of Swift’s time. We can make fun of John McCain’s age, Bill Clinton’s love for women, and Hillary’s pantsuits; such jokes have appeared on magazine covers countless times. However, when it comes to

18Th Century Satire: A Modest Proposal

1402 words - 6 pages . Writers, such a Jonathan Swift, have commonly used satire to discuss important issues about the follies of governments, persons and social issues. It has been said that “although it (satire) is usually subtle in nature, it is used to bring light to contemporary societal problems and provoke change within a culture” (Friedman). One of the world’s best known pieces of satire is Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. This piece of work aimed to expose the

A Modest Proposal: Jonathan Swift's Political Statement About Conditions of Life in 1729

1101 words - 4 pages "A Modest Proposal” a Political Statement Mouth-watering, scrumptious, and delicious are a few words that come to mind when you think of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” His satire on the conditions of life in 1729 was to draw its readers to serious discussion on the distressing matters that plagued their society. His extreme and sarcastic response to the treatment of the ever-growing poor population of Irish families, by the rich

Literary Analysis of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal

909 words - 4 pages In A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift protests the egregious manner in which the English treat the Irish. He is attempting to change the minds of his audience to shame them for their attitude towards the Irish. He is suggesting that eating the Irish children are the solution to the crowded streets of England. Swift, throughout the text, treats the infants and mothers as livestock, delicacies to be eaten by the English, satirizing how they think

An Essay on Jonathan Swift's a Modest Proposal

1043 words - 4 pages ;A Modest Proposal (1729) is demonstrative of the performative facets of literature which are enhanced by the relationship between satire and irony, the interplay between irony and literality, and the misrecognition of the literalists" (22). Irony in a piece of literary work is a tricky subject to tackle as it is difficult and practically impossible to find out exactly what Jonathan Swift had intended. Erin Hoepfinger uses Jacques Derrida

Concerns Jonathon Swift's use of satire in "A Modest Proposal." Describes how in this story caustic wit becomes the means to critique society to a more receptive and entertained audience

1425 words - 6 pages gone through by the oppression of landlords, the impossibility of paying rent without money or trade, the want of common sustenance, with neither house nor clothes to cover them from the inclemencies of weather, and the most inevitable prospect of entailing the like or greater miseries upon their breed forever. (Swift 224)In conclusion, Jonathon Swift's "Modest Proposal" uses satire to force Irish society as a whole to ponder a solution for an

The assignment was to write a modest proposal in the style of John Swift's modest proposal, and I wrote about the college application process

653 words - 3 pages A Modest ProposalWith the approach of senior year, I have become conscious of a variety of easily avoidable factors that contribute to excessive stress. The principal flaw in the college admissions process is that the admissions committee does not categorize students enough. In encouraging applicants to portray their paltry personalities through the essay portion of the application, colleges effectively complicate the process for themselves and

Similar Essays

Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay

1247 words - 5 pages attention and tries to help his readers see deeper political, moral, and social truths and problems is through his use of irony. “A Modest Proposal” is a satire that is aimed at helping Swift’s contemporary readers to recognize how cold and calculating blunt rationalism is when used to address social problems such as poverty and overpopulation. In this short story the narrator is an ironic person. He is an ironic character because he appears to be

John Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay

1374 words - 5 pages In Jonathan Swift’s satirical work, A Modest Proposal, the reader is presented with a horrible concept using extremely effective language and logos; Swift uses strong speech, rational tone, and complex grammar to convince readers that eating children will solve all the problems in 19th century Ireland. Swift’s overall goals in his pamphlet, however, is not to actually encourage eating babies, which is why it is of satire, but is instead to

Literary Satire In “A Modest Proposal”

895 words - 4 pages In the mid-18th century, Ireland was a country stricken by severe poverty. Governed largely by a few wealthy English landowners, the Irish masses faced high taxation, food shortage, and over population. In “A Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift suggests a radical solution to Ireland’s poverty problem by means of consuming Irish infants. By using heavy literary satire to demonstrate the economic and religious prejudice surrounding Ireland

Persuasive Letter In Support Of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"

1139 words - 5 pages certain fields, such as English, mathematics, or science. Yet, the question arises as to what Jonathan Swift presents, as in a fact or technique, in his morbid essay, "A Modest Proposal", that compels our astute teachers to accept his repulsive work as a part of our children's educational curriculum. You, and even I at one time, felt "mortified" by the literal implication of Swift's "appall[ing]" essay; however, I now present a "modest proposal