A Modest Proposal By Jonathan Swift

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It was back in the 1700’s in Britain that true power struggle, rebellion, doubts in the government and extreme poverty began to take light. Thousands of people were left homeless and without clothes, forcing them to defecate on the streets, ultimately leading to disease and plight. Discrimination also played a very large role in Britain, as they treated the Irish as mere scum, leaving them without basic human needs or rights. Jonathan Swift, an Anglo-Irishman born in Dublin in the year 1667, became a key role in the digressing of discrimination and helped better the failing British nation with his satirical – yet influential – writings that easily swayed society. His writing style contained enormous amounts of irony and wit, especially in one of his most famous works titled A Modest Proposal. Swift’s purpose in writing A Modest Proposal was for much more than a good laugh; realistically, Swift was writing it in an attempt to bring change to Britain and further the purpose of his belief that discrimination needed to be extinguished. Britain was a nation plagued with poverty and prejudice, yet Swift was able to get his message of discontent through to society by appealing to authority, using rhetoric and satire, and by detailing the gruesome plight of the Irish. One of the strongest traits in Swift’s writing was his undeniable ability to appeal to authority. By creating a pitiful situation, readers learned about the true struggles Irishmen faced, triggering a sense of pity in their minds which Swift intended to provoke. By essentially turning society against the government and making England looked terrible, it forced the officials who could actually do something about it to take action and make change. He pulled strings in an atte... ... middle of paper ... ...on of his true proposal, the seriousness of the Irish plight becomes easily understood by the reader, disturbing their senses. A writing for the centuries, A Modest Proposal hit all of the key points that it needed to, and the purpose Swift sought to accomplish was easily fulfilled as it took Britain by storm. People were enticed by the highly satirical and ironic style of writing, yet also saw the true problems residing within their own nation. By appealing the authority, using an iconic form of satire and detailing the plight of the Irish, achieving what was impossible for most – getting the attention of British officials – was a piece of cake for Swift. While no lasting changes were made towards better treatment of the Irish as a result of his writing, immediate changes were made and the overall outlook on the Irish in a British point of view was altered forever.

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