The Lady's Dressing Room And A Modest Proposal

1009 words - 4 pages

In Jonathan Swift’s, The Lady’s Dressing Room and A Modest Proposal, Swift implements a satirical persona of identities, may it be, a concerned economist who suggests that children be traded as food to the wealthy in order to elevate the public good within society or a distraught man in the midst of a lady’s dressing room rationalizing a woman’s moral appearance, Swift's satirical personality lies within the persona of the sympathetic-cruelties of his own moral society and opinions. Throughout both texts, Swift’s arguments and satirical claims are both supported throughout the methods and techniques of metaphorical language, irony, structure and imagery. Swift satirizes these techniques within the irony of both these texts as he is able to illustrate the inhumanity, while at the same time, alleviating the solely based rational principles of the general public.
In The Lady’s Dressing Room, Swift signals to his readers of his satiric literary persona through the use of both metaphorical language and tone. Swift begins to depict the exterior notions of women, that women within his society must be fully polished in order to fit within his masculine society, as they’re image would be negatively distorted if seen or done otherwise. Within this poem, Swift establishes this artificial facade through the use of irony and satire in order to distinguish the disparity amongst what is actually being affirmed by the speaker and what is truly implicit within the author’s intentions. Throughout the poem, Swift establishes this emphasis on metaphor in order to reveal to his readers the delusion of woman’s proper appearance as false, as women to Swift, have many hidden faces and qualities; as he exemplifies within the introduction, he states, “Five hours, (and who can do it less in?), By haughty Celia spent in dressing, The goddess from the chamber issues, Arrayed in lace and tissues,” (Swift 2590, 1-4), this exemplifies the idea that Celia and women in general, take on perpetual time in falsely achieving there “cleanly” appearance. He also describes the false notion of her beauty as he not tell the rest, as he states, In such case few words are best, and Strephon bids guess the rest; But swears how damnably the men lie, In calling Celia sweet and cleanly,” (Swift 2590, 15-18). The tone that Swift sets within the poem, also suggests that this kind of manner from a woman is simply immoral. Throughout the poem, Swift also sets the tone as a structure of contempt, which produces a judgmental signal to the readers, as he states, “All varnished o’er with snuff and snot, The stockings why should I expose, Stained with the marks of stinking toes, Or greasy coifs and pinners reeking, Which Celia slept at least a week in?” (Swift 2591, 50-4). Swift sets the persona that women wear garments that are filthy. With this approach, Swift is able to effectively get his arguments across effectively. Swift’s insight into the lady’s dressing room instantly and effectively skews...

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