Essay about A Modest Proposal By Jonathan Swift

Essay about A Modest Proposal By Jonathan Swift

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Satire is defined as the use of humor and exaggeration to criticize politics or current issues. “A Modest Proposal” was written anonymously by Jonathan Swift in response to the current treatment and economic trouble of the Irish in the 1700’s. Jonathan Swift manages to encase his readers into a horrendous but feasible idea of murdering poverty-stricken children to be fed to the rich. He uses a well thought out process of supporting details, adhering to the people’s needs, and straightforward, heartless attitude that make him seem like an expert in is field. This is why his proposal was taken with more than a grain of sand. Jonathan Swift’s proposal was seen as a cure-all since it aided both the wealthy and the poor of the time.
The first way that Jonathan Swift managed to keep readers’ attention was to connect with them on a common level. Seeing beggars in the streets and starving families was a common sight for the wealthy and a common lifestyle for the poor. The poor Irish of the time were to be looked at as commodities, so the ills and wickedness of Swift’s plan were taken more lightly. He does not bring up this initial plan of killing and eating babies until late in his proposal, so then he knows his reader is captured in his work. Swift slowly dehumanized the Irish, and he put them on the same level as livestock, so that the readers could easily justify killing thousands of children just like they kill thousands of animals. He then degrades these human livestock down to individual priced meats, which is the lowest of them all. The numbers and calculations that Swift spits out make him seem well-educated in the field of cannibalism and economics. Swift speaks in a way that traps readers by making them pity the poor Irish, whi...


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...erence between wisdom and wit along with the deception of reason. He speaks on how people should not be fooled by elaborate wording and their own minds. Wilmot expresses how he wishes to be anything but a human because humans become so corrupted by not following their nature and common sense. Wilmot also describes how man should be listed as lower than beasts because of their ability to destroy each other and kill insensibly. This can be mirrored back to Swift since the narrator may have wits, but he has no common sense and true rightful reasoning. The great irony of this piece is that the narrator knows that killing babies morally wrong, but yet he knows that people are willing to take part of cannibalism if it is a solution to an economic solution. Jonathan Swift’s satire is memorable and notably for its ability to test a person’s moral standing and sense of humor.

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