A Comparison of A Modest Proposal, Tartuffe, and Candide

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Writers use personality traits and events to change the classical ideals. Majority of the writer's focus is to change people's attitude's. Jonathan Swift, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere, Francois-Marie Arquet de Voltaire use characterization and plot to challenge the themes of the Neo-Classical period.

 

In A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift challenges the Neo-classical period by creating a sense of instability in their way of thinking. He attacks the society by carelessly endorsing cannibalism in hopes to help Ireland through their economic crisis. He demonstrates this by humbly proposing and assuring "that a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food."
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Swift demands the audience to recognize the narrator's purpose "having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infant's, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich." (Swift 489) The speaker optimistically believes that his idea is for the best. If Swift did not believe that his idea would not have a positive outcome he would not have suggested. Regardless of Swift's inhumane suggestion, which is negative, he only tries to reveal the positive of the situation. This feeling of insecurity is his way of disparaging the Irish and English government.

 

In Tartuffe, Moliere's use's plot to defend and oppose characters that symbolize and ridicule habitual behavior's that was imposed during the neo-classical time period. His work, known as a comedy of manners, consists of flat characters, with few and similar traits, and that always restore some kind of peace in the end. He down plays society as a whole by creating a microseism, where everyone in the family has to be obedient, respectful, and mindful of the head of the home, which is played by the father Orgon. Mariane shows her obedience when she replies "To please you, sir, is what delights me best." (Moliere 324,11) Shortly afterwards, Orgon commands Mariane to take Tartuffe as her husband even though she is not interested in him at all. Orgon's command shows how men are dominate