A Modest Proposal Analysis Essay

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A Modest Proposal

Literary Analysis

By J--- -----------

J--- -----------
Mr. H-----
Period 6
2 May 2011
Jonathan Swift’s Use of Satire and Exaggeration Satire is a form of literature in which an author tries to demonstrate his or her point of view by ridiculing. The author uses heavy irony and sarcasm in order to criticize a social issue. A perfect example of a work of satire is Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. In this satirical essay, Jonathan Swift attacks on the issue of the Irish poverty in the 1700s. The essay sarcastically suggests that Ireland’s social and economic problems would be quickly solved by putting the children of impoverished Irish families on the food market. Through heavy exaggeration, Jonathan
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One example is when he states “that a child just born will weigh twelve pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, will increase to twenty-eight pounds” (804). By giving infants a set of instructions and guidelines, in analogy to livestock, Swift tries to make it seem as if he has no emotional attachment to the Irish children. When Swift is describing the use of children as commodities, it is ironic because his intentions are to actually explain that the English view the whole Irish population as commodities. The English landlords are the ones responsible for Ireland’s poverty. The essay shows, through sarcasm, that the English have purposely took everything from the Irish because they view them as commodities. One example of sarcasm used to portray that idea is that the utilization of infants will be “proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children” (804). It is very apparent that Swift blames the English for Ireland’s problems. He also blames the Irish Catholics that allowed English policy to break down Ireland. The essay illustrates that the greed-filled English have taken away everything from the Irish. This includes their material things such as their money, their
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