Irony is a beautiful technique exercised to convey a message or call a certain group of people to action. This rhetorical skill is artfully used by Jonathan Swift in his pamphlet “A Modest Proposal.” The main argument for this mordantly ironic essay is to capture the attention of a disconnected and indifferent audience. Swift makes his point by stringing together a dreadfully twisted set of morally untenable positions in order to cast blame and aspersions on his intended audience. Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” employs despicably vivid satire to call for change in a world of abuse and misfortune.
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
Johnathan Swift wrote Modest Proposal with the idea to better humanity.. When you first read it you miss what the true message is. You think “Man this guy is a monster!” or “He’s sick!”, but once you reach the end the true meaning of the proposal hits you. When Jonathan Swift wrote a Modest Proposal he tried to get his audience to see the problem by taking it and providing an unethical and inhumane solution then using rhetorical devices to bring out people’s emotions.
In Jonathan Swift’s satire, “A Modest Proposal”, Swift writes about the starving people of Ireland in the early 1700’s. He makes a wild and absurd proposal to help remedy the problems of overpopulation and poverty. Swift wants to make a political statement by using the “children” as satire to grasp the attention of the audience - the English people, the Irish politicians and the rich – and make them aware of the political, moral, and social problems. In “A Modest Proposal”, Swift’s arguments are presented effectively by using pathos (emotional appeal), ethos (ethics and values), and logos (logic reasoning and facts).
The sarcastic views of Swift’s understanding of the poverty of Ireland leads him to make a proposal for a solution to poverty, where he ignores the concern of human morale by displaying the lacking efforts of England to help. Swift uses methods that work to get or help better understand a situation, for example being sarcastic in a situation where a person wants something out of the situation by satire. The undeniable effect of satire catches the attention of England to further display the poverty of Ireland which is displayed throughout Swift’s Modest Proposal with exaggeration, incongruity and reversal.
Jonathan Swift uses humor in his essay ‘A Modest Proposal’ in the form of satire. His writing style specialized in gaining entertainment and humor from the issue that is being criticized. Jonathan Swift was a satirist who is famous for his ‘Modest Proposal’, in which he proposed a shocking but humorous remedy to satirize the false modesty of British pamphlets and the government during eighteenth century.
Effectively ushering change in society or pointing out faults that have existed and gone unnoticed can be a daunting task for any social commentator. Often, blandly protesting grievances or concerns can fall upon deaf ears and change can be slow or non-existent. However, Jonathan Swift in his pamphlet A Modest Proposal, uses clever, targeted, and ironic criticism to bring the social state of Ireland to the attention of indolent aristocrats. He accomplishes such criticism through satire, specifically Juvenalian satire. Swift’s A Modest Proposal stands as an example of the type of satire that plays upon the audience’s emotion by creating anger concerning the indifference of the voice created. He complements such criticism with sophisticated,
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.
Jonathan Swift, the writer of the satirical essay A Modest Proposal, grew up and lived in Ireland during times of famine and economic struggles (Conditions). Growing up with a single mother and no father, Swift knew what hard times and struggles were like (Jonathan Swift: Biography). His essay proposes an easy solution to the economic problems going on in Ireland for both the wealthy ruling classes and the poorer classes, although his intentions and the meaning behind his words are not what would be originally thought when initially reading the essay. Through his word choices and the description of specific events of his time, Swift uses satire to grab his audience’s attention and get his own personal ideas and opinions out about all the
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
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.
Swift was said to “declare at one stage in his life: ‘I am not of this vile country (Ireland), I am an Englishman’” (Hertford website). In his satire “A Modest Proposal,” he illustrates his dislike not only for the Irish, but for the English, organized religions, rich, greedy landlords, and people of power. It is obvious that Swift dislikes these people, but the reader must explore from where his loathing for the groups of people stems. I believe Swift not only wanted to attack these various types of people to defend the defenseless poor beggars, but he also had personal motives for his writings that stemmed from unconscious feelings, located in what Sigmund Freud would call the id, that Swift
Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" can be said to have a satirical surprise ending, even though the reader is well prepared for it based on the tone and style of Swift's writing and any prior knowledge of the author's intentions. Swift's final solution to the problem of overpopulation is for the poor to sell their children as food for the rich. He introduces this proposition quite early into the document "A Modest Proposal," which is why the ending is not so much as a surprise as it is an intriguing rhetorical argument. The reason why the ending might seem surprising is that it seems as if Swift may indeed be presenting a realistic argument of what can be done about overpopulation, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. A reader not used to inferring messages based on tone or style might be forgiven to misread the beginning of Swift's document. For example, a person who has never heard a sarcastic tone could very well believe that Swift was being serious; in which case the reader would continue to view Swift's proposal as reasonable and either consider him a monster or a genius. Generally, Swift uses the surprise ending to alert the readers to the absurdity of the original problem that reveals social injustices and inequities. One of the biggest surprises in Swift's document is when he states, "I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the