Examples Of Irony In A Modest Proposal

Decent Essays

Identify and close-read three examples of irony in “A Modest Proposal”.
How does each instance criticize social perceptions of the poor? In ‘A Modest Proposal’ the author, Jonathan Swift utilizes techniques such as satire, sarcasm, and irony to create a bigger picture to the reader. Within the poem, Swift not only presents a humorous approach to social and economic issues but does so in a well-constructed and carefully composed manner. A closer reading of the text reveals a deeper critical analysis of the social perceptions of the poor at the time. Through Swifts’ use of irony, he creates a proposal that is so extremely absurd that some may believe the piece to be genuine. By taking an issue and providing a corrupt and merciless solution, the writer uses a unique approach to catch the attention of the people of Ireland and presents them a proposal they cannot ignore. Through the use of irony, Swift creates a poem that not only criticizes social perceptions of the poor but also remarks upon the issue without directly addressing the reader.
Beginning with an examination of the subtitle, the stance of the narrator and his views of the poor are evident immediately. “…For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland, from being a Burden to their Parents or Country; and for making them beneficial to the Public." (Swift Para.1). This example is a distinct instance of irony; in which Swift uses such long, elaborate sentence to summarize his main proposition. By referring to

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