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A Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1716 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In A Modest Proposal the author, Jonathan Swift, uses techniques such as irony, satire, and sarcasm by teasing the Irish government. A Modest Proposal was a tough social explanation. In that day and age, it was tough on what to do with plenty of the poor in England, especially in London. Swift brings out a articulate resolution to the dilemma. His solution was in fact, outrageous. After reading Swift’s masterpiece, I could not believe how graphic and shocking it would be. At times I was sickened in the way he details his feelings. Writing a sarcastic letter, he suggests that they put the poor children on the market to wealthier families, since it will provide them food, clothing, and will decrease the population. All the way through this proposal, he uses a great deal of elements on how they should be eating the children, treating them as penniless but as farm animals. In the end of the proposal, he trims it in another way by signifying something more practical, like the rich giving up their luxuries.

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Swift’s annoyance at what he saw as the immoral economic and political policies of the Irish and English governments, and he author uses the assumed voice of the economist. He uses great quantity of thorough, literalized metaphors, and ironic and sarcasm techniques to devastating effect. A Modest Proposal has been judged as an unsurpassed work of rhetorical brilliancy, and it acquires new readers additional critical attention up until now Swift exposes all of the bizarre remarks and ideas he has been discussing about are all a humorous way of entertaining the government is operating and how they are not serving the terrible state of the country. Afterwards he expresses a proper proposal of taking away the rich people’s luxuries in order to lend a hand in their economy. In this essay, I will explain the 3 techniques that I have found in Swift’s proposal, such as; Irony, Satire and Sarcasm.

The first well known technique, Irony is used in almost the whole part of his proposal Swift stated that “That a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled, and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout” (p.285). Swift does not consider that people must devour children. In actuality, children are our hope in the future, and if they are eaten by man, then their will be to this point no outlook. He is clarifying that people must advise a way out to help the situation, if they decide not to then they ought to eat their children. I recognize in the beginning of the paragraph, he believes it is appalling to abuse and terminate children. He is portraying kids are being eaten alive for the reason that they have no food. Swift points out “I’d rather recommend buying the children alive and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs” (p.286). He indicates that Irish people should not be treated like animals, but on the contrary Swift relates them to as animals, referring them to as dam’s (p.284). Swift has a strong sense of disgust, for the poor civilians of the streets. For example, swift mentioned “It is very well known that they are dying, and rotting, by cold and famine, and filth, and vermin. They cannot get work and consequently pine away for want of nourish” (p.287). As a reader I figure out that Swift wants to clear out the beggars in his motherland. There will constantly be resentment and hate towards the poor despite what they do, they certainly cannot work, therefore earn, since they have no power and money to buy food. He places of interest on the hunger, egotism, and lack of empathy that occurs in their society. He is not frustrated with the children, though bothered with the British for their failure to help these people under their rule. He suggests that eating babies will solve the problems of hunger and overpopulation. It’s ironic because he doesn’t really mean what he is saying; he is using this absurd fight to point out the errors in many of our “coherent” political solutions to big problems.

Satire is a second technique Swift uses, he states “The skin of which artificially dressed, will make admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen” (p.286). He is indicating that rich people have a purpose and have the power to full-fill their wishes without any conditions. Swift shows all of his pain for the beggars and as a reader it shows that it’s all about status. On another note, Swift uses the children as satire, by exaggerating and dramatically grabs the reader’s attention, such as “boiling and brewing” (p.285) of the children would end all the problems. This is a revelation of how Swift persuades the reader on how to help the rich out. Going back, he wants something done. Perhaps this satire isn’t verbal like a celebrity’s voice, possibly what Swift’s tone in this piece is anger and annoyance. Since no one is doing anything about it, in his mind he might as well suggest “Eating children”. This classic poem is worded completely simple and the most logical thing in the world. It’s not to amuse us, but to substitute this phrase “should reduce their outgoings” with “should eat their babies” and it’s just another “op-ed” piece ‘that’ is what makes it satire. The wealthy were physically in success of getting fatter whereas the poor starved to death. Swift stated that as an alternative of spending money on transported animal protein, they should eat their own children and as a result to control the population and provide their own food instead of depending on importing. Yes this is sickening, but this is exactly Swift’s intentions, by disgusting the community, he anticipated to have them take a re-examination at their humanity and with a bit of luck modify it. It is disrespectful to the society, predominantly the rich and at the same time suggesting an eccentric solution to a dreadfully real problem that was obvious in London. As a matter of fact he hoped to bring a social transformation with his “modest proposal”.

As we move on to the third technique ‘sarcasm’, was greatly involved all over in the poem. In the first paragraph of A Modest Proposal, Swift uses the words “melancholy, tears and pity and grievance” (p.283) to feel sorry for the poor people while reading and come into view to comprehend their condition, gradually attaining the readers assurance in preparation for his disgusting proposal. When he sent out his proposal to decrease Ireland’s population, he merely looks at the positive aim in his idea. He is showing that he’s serious about his proposal by fabricating proof and figures, which shows that he has planned the dilemma for a very long time. This proposal is written sarcastically to belittle the attitude of the manufactured revolution that saw people as being a product to be exploited; in addition the mindset that the rate of people developed was beyond the rate of food growth so that there could never be enough food. Swift mentions “a year old offered in sale to the persons of quality, and fortune, advising the mother to let them suck plentifully, so as to render then plump, and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends and family” (p.285). His ludicrous scheme is to plump up the children and feed them off to the wealthiest. Reading that part, this made me become conscious of Swift’s extreme opinion is to point out where the reader should be feeling this is unacceptable and we must put a stop to this ludicrous. This manner shows a lot of antagonism which grabs your attention and wanting to read more of his preposterous language. Swift mentions absurdity quite often, he states that the wives will be taken care of in good health now that they are having children put up for sale confirmed by their husbands. He stated “the wives as livestock, and now that they are a source of income, the husbands will treat them better, as they do their cows, pigs, chickens (p.284). This is bizarre with the thought not being discovered in the way that a husband is exceptionally vigilant with his wife and a transformed man when she is with the child, for the reason that in her abdomen is his family, and he wouldn’t dare cause his own living damage. Though, Swift entails an opposed idea to attack the men living in rough financial circumstances that are brutal to their wives.

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After thinking it over, I have come to realize that only a true genius could write something as emotive and realistic and be taken seriously. Every one of his techniques used gains the reader assurance and make him appear sensible and pragmatic in an ironic way. He astonished the reader by demonstrating child abuse as a answer to social and poverty issues in Dublin. In doing so, Swift accents the difference, playing a vital role in satire, in addition to the double standards of the politicians he wants to blame. As readers, he wants us to know “how do we save Ireland?” Swift managed to make it reasonable, by using many techniques, such as; irony, satire and sarcasm. He utilized loads of embellishment to draw attention to his points and beliefs, shown through his irony and imagery. Humans are more than just sensible beings; we rely on emotions and faith. Swift provides a cultural criticism; he accept as true that faith, feelings, and religion help our human reason in arriving at truths. If the three did not exist, there would be no final cause and hope for rescue because there is no sense of information to verify heaven, we would never love, our loved ones can die, there would be no caring and life would lack civilization which is what makes it so stunning, and that is emotion. Swift recognized a problem and was able to offer a resolution “in a tongue-tied way”. Some were blaming the poor or the rich. Swift was able to point out the errors of both groups by simply using these three techniques.


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