The Use of Satire in A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

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A Modest Proposal
In “A Modest Proposal” several forms of satire are demonstrated throughout the story. Satire is defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose or criticize people’s stupidity or vices. (Google) In "A Modest Proposal" Swift uses parody which is a form of satire. Parody is primarily making fun of something to create a humorous feel for it. In “A Modest Proposal,” Swift uses parody to make fun of the people and children of Ireland, expressing the children as delicious food to be eaten.
"A child just dropped from its dam may be supported by her milk for a solar year with little nourishments."(pg.623) In this satire, the author is explaining a child will be born and fed off of his mother’s milk, but that milk will not be plentiful because the mother is malnourished. To solve the problem of sad fate of the poverty stricken Irish people, who spend their life looking for food to feed their families. Swift has developed a plan to benefit the rich, by using the poor. His plan is to fatten up the unnourished children, and raise them as food for the wealthier citizens of Ireland. This would give the Irish economy a consequential advance, and reduce the population, which would make it easier for the great and noble England to deal with their disorderly citizens. Swift’s proposal would benefit the wealthy with more food supply and the poor with more income. This also contradicts the proposal because the poor would become rich.
Swift introduces “melancholy” and the two common perceptions of women and children begging in the streets of Ireland. The author appeals to the general opinion that the women are “forced to employ all their time” in begging and panhandling for food, and the children will gr...

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...ion. Saying even though Irish people are the enemy, it's best to have a few of them to help advance the economy and the countryside. This is also ironic because the writer doesn’t even accept that the concept of eating one-year olds is morally wrong.
"If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And if I can persuade you to laugh at the particular point I make by laughing at it acknowledges its truth."-John Cleese (Brainy Quote) Satire opens people's minds to new ideas they might reject, using humor. This proposal would not work in modern day society because eating children is not at all morally or politically correct, but it is funny. Works Cited
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