Hyperboles In A Modest Proposal

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In his satire, A Modest Proposal, Swift utilizes hyperbole and sarcasm to bring awareness of the unacceptable conditions of the Irish poor in the 18th century. Through extreme hyperboles, Swift underscores the gargantuan social issues afflicting Ireland in the 1720s. While proposing a plan to solve all of Ireland’s problems, Swift explains that “a young healthy child well nursed is… a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled” (Swift 59-60). Swift exaggerates all of the effects of his plan, especially the supposedly tasty “boiled” child. Rather than simply stating that eating children would solve all of Ireland's problems, Swift goes on to list the many ways these dishes would be prepared. Even …show more content…

Swift’s modest proposal includes multiple instances where Swift proudly declares that “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 kingdom” in the face of potential objections to his plan (Swift 187-199). While Swift “can think of no one objection,” the reader can definitely think of millions of reasons why his plan will wipe Ireland off the map. In fact, Swift himself uses this phrase sarcastically in an attempt to get the reader to empathize with the Irish. Because the reader begins to pity the Irish, Swift ensures that he gets the message across that current conditions in Ireland are unlivable. Moreover, Swift ends his plan by vainly proclaiming that “I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country” (Swift 234-236). The narrator clearly does not have any “sincerity of heart” with his intentions, proving that Ireland cannot survive in its current position with people like the narrator in power. Additionally, Swift’s sarcastic remark about promoting “the public good of [his] country” underscores the horrifying effects of his ghastly proposal, solidifying the horrifying fate of the Irish if

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