Johnathan Swift wrote “A Modest Proposal” in 1729. It was his response to the booming population of the mainly catholic lower-class Irish and the Protestant-English upper-class’s inability to find a solution to reduce the number of people who were unable to maintain their families, and were begging in the streets. “A Modest Proposal” is a satirical pamphlet that was aimed towards the English gentlemen of the day, who were the ruling class of Ireland at the time, and valued logic and reason above all else. In his essay, Swift uses satire and irony to “propose” a solution to the “Irish problem.” His essay was so innovative and effective because he uses solid logic and reasoning to propose something so ridiculous that it would force the reader to think that maybe, when dealing with matters of humanity, the solution may require more than cold logic and science. He then challenges the reader, giving a long list of things that could be done to better the situation, and telling them “let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, ‘till he hath at least some glimpse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty attempt to put them into practice.” Swift’s essay is the perfect example of reverse psychology and using shock value to get the reader to see exactly what he wants them to see. Johnathan Swift, an Anglo-Irish satirist, poet, essayist, political pamphleteer, and cleric, is best known as the author of famous works such as “Gulliver’s Travels,” The Battle of the Books,” and the focus of this essay, “A Modest Proposal.” Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1667, Swift could have been just like any other poor catholic-Irish boy. However, he became a fairly wealthy protestant, and later in life was even made Dean of St. Patrick’s... ... middle of paper ... ...Johnathan Swift’s essay “A Modest Proposal” was a wonderful piece of satire, which made the people who read it take an introspective look, and think about how they were treating those poor, lower-class Irish. The raw imagery used by the author caused people to be so disgusted, that they were forced to consider what would be a more humane solution. Swift was able to both capture the attention of his audience, and get them to think more reasonably about an issue most, at the time, ignored. This essay is a great example, even to this day, of how to use satire, irony, and reverse psychology to speck to an audience who would not usually care to listen. “A Modest Proposal” was likely very successful getting people during The Enlightenment, when they valued little else but logic, facts, and reason, to consider that perhaps sometimes, reason alone cannot guarantee success.
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
... allowing to happen in Ireland with exploitation, poverty, overpopulation and the lack of human rights to the citizens of Ireland. He uses several satirical and persuasive devices in his piece to show the cultural and historical motive behind what was happening in the century. Although his essay was written many years ago, it is one that modern society can come to an understanding with after digging beneath the surface. We are made to feel repulsed by what he writes about because it touches on the political climate and the history that we derived from, allowing us to form our own opinions about what is moral and immoral to propose for the problems over poverty and overpopulation during this period. Although Swift titled his essay A Modest Proposal, it was indeed an immodest proposal that brought to light the dire situations that needed to be addressed and changed.
“A Modest Proposal” was written in 1729 by a satirical author by the name of Jonathan Swift. Swift studied at the University of Oxford and was also know for his popular writing in Gulliver’s Travel. The purpose for his satire “A Modest Proposal” was to enlighten the citizens of Ireland about their hardship and suffering. He informed them about their scares of food, money, and property, but provided a possible solution to their problem. To persuade the people Swift adopts a comforting and friendly tone to his audience for the people to react to his solution.
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 satire, humor and shock value.
The Modest Proposal was written by Jonathan Swift in 1729 and is a prime example of how satire is able to reveal issues in society with a comedic feel. This famous pamphlet suggests the impoverished Irish may ease their economic pains by selling their children as food for the upper-classes. "I grant this food may be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for Landlords, who as they have already devoured most of ...
Through the creation of a pompous, highly educated and sophisticated proposer, in Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, the targeted audience, the absentee landlords and parliament of England, and the reader naturally identify with the proposer. The proposer’s rigorous logic, serious and cynical tone deduces the ghastly proposition of cannibalism for economic, political, moral, and nationalistic gain. However, through the targeted audience’s identification with the proposer, Swift is able to propose the ironic humanity of his satirical proposal and thus indict colonial landlordism in Ireland and in Enlightenment ideals. Swift’s proposer’s tone is used for both the ostensible and actual purpose of the proposal; through the adherence to the ideals of the Enlightenment, which would be that of the targeted audience, Swift is able to critique the ideology of logic and rationality as fundamental to morality in the proposal.
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).
Jonathan Swift is the speaker in the story, A Modest Proposal. He is also the author of many other books and stories. In the text of A Modest Proposal, Swift addresses what he believes to be a big issue in the magnificent country of Ireland, Dublin to be exact. Therefore, he proposes a solution to the problem, however, the solution is not what we would call humane, orthodox, reasonable, or even one that we would consider performing today. Swift wrote this piece for anyone that can read and comprehend what the text implies.
If Jonathan Swift had written a serious piece simply espousing his true beliefs he would not have received as much feedback, due to the fact that there were already informational advertisements at the time and nobody was interested in reading them. The only thing that would get the people 's attention was something that would create a lasting impression, so he wrote a satirical piece with trenchant humor and mochary. “A Modest Proposal” surprised people and got them thinking about the condition of the poor in Ireland and what should be done to solve it. For example Swift states that “those who are thrifty” can use the carcass of the infant for ladies’ gloves or gentlemen’s boots. This itself can help those reading the piece to begin to think about possible solutions to the substantial issues involving the poor in Ireland. He also proposes that children that are fourteen should be consumed as well so the poor don’t have to go hungry and that it would limit the number of breeders, in an attempt to illustrate the extremity of the circumstances. His sarcastic way of joking enlisted fear in the poor and concern in the rich, helping them realise the drastic issue present in the
In 1729, Jonathan Swift published a pamphlet called “A Modest Proposal”. It is a satirical piece that described a radical and humorous proposal to a very serious problem. The problem Swift was attacking was the poverty and state of destitution that Ireland was in at the time. Swift wanted to bring attention to the seriousness of the problem and does so by satirically proposing to eat the babies of poor families in order to rid Ireland of poverty. Clearly, this proposal is not to be taken seriously, but merely to prompt others to work to better the state of the nation. Swift hoped to reach not only the people of Ireland who he was calling to action, but the British, who were oppressing the poor. He writes with contempt for those who are oppressing the Irish and also dissatisfaction with the people in Ireland themselves to be oppressed.
Humor can come in many different forms. Many people are aware of the blatant humor of slapstick, but it takes a keener mind to notice the subtle detail in sarcasm or satire. In A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift was able to create a piece of literature addressing the faults of the Irish culture while embedding in a humorous essay. Swift’s satire allows for the gravity of the Irish standings to be exploited under the disguise of a proposal for economic benefit.
During the eighteenth century, Jonathan Swift was distributing pamphlets around Ireland in hopes of promoting intellectual growth in his homeland. As he noticed this was not making an impact, he decided to address the problems in Ireland with a different approach. Jonathan Swift took to paper and constructed “A Modest Proposal”, a satirical piece that proposes a humorous solution to the social, economic, and political problems in Ireland. Swift’s proposal suggests that babies who are born to poor families become a source of food for public, which benefits Ireland by reducing the overpopulation and adding to the food supply. In “A Modest Proposal”, Jonathan Swift uses satire to draw attention to his argument that the problems in Ireland are greatly affecting his homeland; in doing so, he portrays the themes of class division, suffering, and greed.
Jonathan Swift, an Anglo-Irish writer, was born in Dublin on the 30th October 1667. he was one of the greatest satirists of the universal literature. His pamphlets have a stinging sarcasm through which he accused moral-political vices or religious ones (ex. “A Tale of a Tub”, ”A Meditation upon a Broomstick”) or pamphlets which defend the Irish cause (“The Drapiers Letters”). His fame was brought by “GULLIVER’S TRAVELS”. This is a realistic parody of social dynamic, remarkable for the greatness of its metaphors, consciousness of vision and its style.
In “A Modest Proposal,” Swift employs a satirical tone to mock both the callous attitudes towards the poor and the poor themselves. Swifts “modest” solution to the fiscal and social issues going on in Ireland is nothing but the opposite, as he proposes that the impoverished should sell their infants as food for money. In using the word “modest” to describe his proposal of eating Irish infants and/or offering their flesh as a source of clothing, Swift makes the sarcasm of his story evident from the beginning. By using such an inconspicu...
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, clever language which may be mistaken for the more docile Horatian satire. Yet, this urbane voice, coupled with irony and the substance of the proposals accentuates Swift’s motive to use anger as a force for action. Through his absurd/humorous proposals, stinging irony, and use of voice, Swift effectively portrays A Modest Proposal as a Juvenalian satire designed to stir emotions concerning the social state of Ireland.