Naked Lunch and A Modest Proposal Essay

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Naked Lunch and A Modest Proposal

In 1729, Jonathon Swift published an essay titled A Modest Proposal, which dealt with the issue of homelessness among the poor families of his country. His satirical proposal to control the population of homeless children stirred a debate on the morality of his proposal. Two hundred and thirty years later in 1959, William S. Burroughs published a novel entitled Naked Lunch, which dealt with the desperate struggle of drug addiction and the governments role in rehabilitating addicts. Inspired by Swifts Modest Proposal, Burroughs satirical portrait of drug addiction was also controversial. Both Swift and Burroughs addressed serious issues of their respective times, with both drug addiction and homeless
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(Swift, par. 33) Of course, Swift was not serious in his proposal, but he was serious about helping improve the situations of the poor in his country. By directly addressing the situation, Swift addressed the issue of homelessness in a manner that was both bold and effective. It was bold in that it was a very controversial way of dealing with the problem. No rational human being would propose cannibalism as a solution to homelessness, but it s use is effective as a voice that stands out and causes people to think about what he is dealing with. By suggesting cannibalism, Swift draws on one of the most wide spread taboos in the world to repulse his audience into realizing that homelessness was a serious problem. Swift was tired of hearing ideas proposed to deals with the poor, in his opinion there was too much talk and not enough action: But as to myself, having been wearied out for many years of offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal, which, as it is wholly new, so it hath something solid and real, of no expense and little trouble (Swift,par.31) By stirring up such strong reactions to it, Swift cause people to really think about the problem of homelessness and ways to help deal with the problem. In the novel Naked Lunch, written by

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