Dr. Jonathan Swift’s purpose while writing “A Modest Proposal,” was to shock and to inform the public about his idea to sell children of poor families to be eaten. In the book, Satire: A Critical Reintroduction, Dustin Griffin
In the essay “A Modest Proposal” written by Jonathan Swift, the author proposes a solution for hunger, poverty, and overcrowding in Ireland by eating children. Swift uses satire and sarcasm throughout his entire essay in order to grab his audience’s attention. The essay discusses how the British government treats the people of Ireland and compares it to the consumption and trade of human babies. In paragraphs 20 to 26 Swift lists advantages of his proposal, also with rhetorical appeals and rhetorical devices strategies such as metonymy, oxymoron, metaphor, and irony to develop his position in the argument and reveal the real meaning behind his proposal.
The satirical essay “A Modest Proposal” written and published in in 1729 by an Anglo- Irish man named Jonathan Swift, in response to the worsening conditions of Ireland, was one of his most controversial and severe writings of his time. The narrator in Swift’s essay “A Modest Proposal” argues for a drastic and radical end to poverty in Ireland. Swift’s proposal suggests that the needy, poor people of Ireland can ease their troubles simply by selling their children as food to the rich and make them useful, benefitting the public. With the use of irony, exaggeration and ridicule Swift mocks feelings and attitudes towards the poor people of Ireland and the politicians. However, with the use of satire Swift creates a
At the time A Modest Proposal was written, Ireland was in a state of extreme poverty. The country was significantly overpopulated: people were struggling to make ends meet and provide for the growing population. The author of the text, Dr. Jonathan Swift, was repulsed by the Irish government’s reluctance to institute any major changes to help resolve the levels of poverty and overpopulation present at the time. In response, he wrote this text to criticize the upper class for this level of inaction, as well as their failed attempts at resolving the issue. Through Swift’s use of satirical devices -- such as irony, hyperbole, and understatement -- he was able to convey his message to the public which was criticism about the inadequate actions being taken by the government to solve Ireland’s troubles. He believed they weren’t doing enough to help the situation at the time and wanted them to see their defeat in hopes that they would decide to finally act.
The implied thesis of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal" is that 18th century Ireland would be in a better situation if the Irish society and monarchy actually treated problems such as overpopulation and poverty, While the overt thesis is that Irish people should consider eating their children and selling them to rich Englishmen to solve the issue of poverty and overpopulation in the country. They differ form one another as one focuses on eating children, while the other focuses on giving commentary through the essay itself.
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
When one thinks of the phrase “A Modest Proposal,” does one come to think of fattening babies so they can sell as meat. In Jonathan Swift’s essay “A Modest Proposal,” Swift uses satirical writing to communicate with the reader to expose the critical situation of the poor people of Ireland. Whom besides going through a tough period of famine have to endure the overwhelming taxation rates of the English empire. The author’s proposal intends to convince the public of the incompetence of Ireland’s politicians, the lack empathy of the wealthy, the English oppression, and the inability of the Irish to mobilize themselves against this situation. Johnathan proposed an outrageous solution that the Irish folks eat their children at the age of one or sell them in the market as meet. Finally, he manifests to be open to other suggestions to help overcome the country’s crisis. The proposal was made strategically using several different parts: the text, author, audience, purpose, and setting to persuade the tax to go lower.
Although I realize your concern, you have missed the point of this well thought out essay completely. Despite what you may think about A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, this essay is a satire master piece filled with irony. Swift’s essay was not intended to convince people to eat babies, but to call attention to the abuses Catholic’s face from their well-to-do Protestants. He only uses eating babies in his essay to explain to the reader the impossible burdens the Protestants are imposing on the Irish Catholics and by making their life hard, they are making a life of a new born impossible.
Swift's message to the English government in "A Modest Proposal" deals with the disgusting state of the English-Irish common people. Swift, as the narrator expresses pity for the poor and oppressed, while maintaining his social status far above them. The poor and oppressed that he refers to are Catholics, peasants, and the poor homeless men, women, and children of the kingdom. This is what Swift is trying to make the English government, in particular the Parliament aware of; the great socioeconomic distance between the increasing number of peasants and the aristocracy, and the effects thereof. Swift conveys his message in a brilliant essay, in which he uses
The use of satire in literary works has always been a part of our culture, as well as other cultures of the world. Satire isn’t focused on how the author satirizes, but rather, what is being satirized. The goal is for the audience to think more about a topic, and as previously stated, can be done in many forms.
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."
The similar idea that is mentioned in “A modest Proposal and in onion article is. Swift proposes that the babies of all the poor and desolate will “contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands” to improve Ireland’s economy and standard of living. He says this because many women kept having
A Modest Proposal was written in an attempt to open the people of Ireland’s eyes about the overpopulation, poverty, and young thieves on the street. Jonathan Swift, in his writing, A Modest Proposal, uses a unique way to get people’s attention on the problems at hand. Swift’s purpose is to give the people of Ireland something they cannot possibly ignore. He adopts a disappointed tone in order to make his audience feel like they did something wrong for letting this occur for such in his audience of the people of Dublin, Ireland.
In a “Modest Proposal” Swift expresses his grief as well as irritation of Ireland’s politicians, the hypocrisy of the wealthy, the tyranny of the English, and the degradation in which he witnesses the Irish people living. While Swift explains how England continuously exploits Ireland, he also expresses the utter disgust he finds in the inability of the Irish to help themselves. Swift mourns and shows compassion for the Irish people but critiques both for the issue at hand. (Sparknotes). Through this ironic essay of surprises and shocks, swift challenges the reader consider and critically analyze policies, motivation, and moral values. Jonathan Swift states in the essay that
Swift uses irony instead of straight forward remarks to express his anger toward the British and how their oppression on his people is destroying the economy. Swifts anger has become so great he states that much of the population would have been better off dead, which may be exaggerated but not ironic. Instead of coming straight out and writing a rational proposal he uses satire to mock the British but at the same time get a valuable point across. All satire is ultimately driven by anger at some level. Its purpose is to not only entertain but to drive change. A Modest Proposal is a reminder of these roots.