Irony in Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay

Irony in Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay

Length: 806 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Although I realize your concern, you have missed the point of this well thought out essay completely. Despite what you may think about A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, this essay is a satire master piece filled with irony. Swift’s essay was not intended to convince people to eat babies, but to call attention to the abuses Catholic’s face from their well-to-do Protestants. He only uses eating babies in his essay to explain to the reader the impossible burdens the Protestants are imposing on the Irish Catholics and by making their life hard, they are making a life of a new born impossible.
He makes his first point on page 411 when he tells the reader that eating babies is no problem for landlords because they have “already devoured most of the parents” (411). Swift is not saying that the landlords have literally devoured the parents, the Irish Catholics, and is again not saying that they should eat babies. Instead, he carefully wrote that sentence to explain the hardships put on “the parents”. He is making the point that the Protestants expect too much money from the Catholics and are therefore devouring them. The Church, who is against unjust killing, is unjustly killing the lives of the Irish people and their babies. This sentence is not designed to offend anyone, but to put the issue of high taxes, along with other impossible expenses creating hardship, out in the open. Swifts purpose is completely morale and carefully planned, if you are going to make the babies lives borderline impossible to live, you might as well eat them.
On the same page Swift mentions that eating babies will “lessen the number of papists among us” (411). By saying the Protestants are ready to eat and lower the count of Catholics, Swift is...


... middle of paper ...


...that eating babies is the only solution, that this place would be better if they did eat babies, but by comparing eating babies to more reasonable ideas, he is encouraging change. This irony is a strong method of persuasion. It pushes people (mainly Catholics) to accept and peruse moderate methods of change rather than crazy, extreme ones.
It is easy to see that you may have been confused on the purpose to Swift’s essay, but I assure you this essay has no intentions turning the world into senseless carnivores. This essay is to teach kids the different rhetorical strategies, such as irony, to make a writing piece, a master piece. In the majority of Swift’s reasoning for eating babies, he is trying to convince the Protestants how inconsiderate their actions are, not eating babies is actually good. This is just another technique in the art of persuasive writing.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Modest Proposal By Jonathan Swift Essay

- “A Modest Proposal” is a short satirical essay by Jonathan Swift, in which the narrator seems to be of an ironic character, who seems to turn a blind eye to all the horrible moral implications of his proposals and is only busy looking at the economic progress and has made every proposal that favors economic progress. “It is a melancholly Object to those, who walk through this great Town , or travel in the Country, when they see the Streets, the Roads, and Cabbin-Doors, crowded with Beggars of the female Sex, followed by three, four, or six Children, all in Rags, and importuning every Passenger for an Alms....   [tags: Satire, Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal, Irony]

Better Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

Satire and the Deployment of Irony in A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

- Satire and the Deployment of Irony in A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: of taxing our absentees at 5s. a pound: of using neither clothes, nor household furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture: of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury: of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our women: of introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and temperance: of learning to love our country, wherein we differ even from Laplanders, and the inhabitants of Topinamboo: of quitting our animosities and factions, nor acting any longer like the Jews, who were murderi...   [tags: Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift Papers]

Better Essays
2756 words (7.9 pages)

A Modest Proposal : A Swift Examination Of Satire Essay

- “A Modest Proposal”: A Swift Examination of Satire Many authors disguise their criticisms of a government through satire in order to draw attention to political corruption and present it in a way that is more palatable to the reader’s taste. One such author is Jonathan Swift who, in his essay “A Modest Proposal,” presents the idea to raise Irish children as meat to feed the upper-class English elite. Swift establishes a satirical tone through his use of metaphor and sarcastic diction when he asserts his idea of consuming Irish children to starvation and poverty in Ireland....   [tags: Satire, Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal, Irony]

Better Essays
1397 words (4 pages)

Sarcasm and Irony in Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal Essay example

- Sarcasm and Irony in Swift's A Modest Proposal In his lengthy literary career, Jonathan Swift wrote many stories that used a broad range of voices that were used to make some compelling personal statements. For example, Swifts, A Modest Proposal, is often heralded as his best use of both sarcasm and irony. Yet taking into account the persona of Swift, as well as the period in which it was written, one can prove that through that same use of sarcasm and irony, this proposal is actually written to entertain the upper-class....   [tags: A Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift]

Free Essays
1501 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Irony in Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal

- Rhetorical strategies are techniques, which are used to make one’s writings more effective. The choice of rhetoric strategy depends on the type of subject being discussed. The effectiveness of appropriate strategy is directly related to the mood, which is to be created and maintained. For example if someone is criticizing the government, the tome is usually kept serious and Irony and satire are widely used in such writings. On the other hand while describing the recent developments in genetic engineering, the tone would be objective and humor or satire would be ineffective here....   [tags: Rhetorical Strategy and Techniques]

Better Essays
1085 words (3.1 pages)

A Modest Proposal By Jonathan Swift Essay

- Jonathan Swift is the king of satire known for his seemingly unorthodox works throughout the early 18th century. Swift capitalizes in his arguments by hooking a targeted audience with expert use of logic, tragedy, and character. In “A Modest Proposal” Swift uses exaggerated rhetoric and irony to emphasize his disdain for the troubles facing Ireland throughout the turn of the 17th century. Most of Ireland has succumb to poverty due to English bullying and therefore Swift developed a do-it-yourself solution for those most affected by these hard times....   [tags: Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal, Satire]

Better Essays
706 words (2 pages)

A Modest Proposal By Jonathan Swift Essay examples

- Pamphlets were often used to spread ideas throughout Ireland in the late 1600s, however, many were discarded and ignored. “A Modest Proposal,” by Jonathan Swift, uses the pamphlets to his advantage by proposing a ridiculous idea to show how messed up the state of Ireland was. Swift proposed that the babies of all the poor would “contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands” or in other words, improve Ireland 's economic problems and standard of living (Swift). His main reason for proposing this drastic idea was because women continued to have children they could not provide food or anything for in some cases and Swift’s idea would make the children “beneficial to...   [tags: Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal, Satire]

Better Essays
1170 words (3.3 pages)

Essay Analysis of Irony

- Irony, by its definition, is a rhetorical device or literary technique that conveys a subsurface meaning which is exactly opposite from the literal meaning of its evident words. Writers tend to employ such a technique to evoke readers’ reconsiderations about the issue that stated by the writer. Jonathan Swift in his A Modest Proposal throws out what he called a “modest proposal”, which is utterly horrific and inhuman, to address the poverty problem. Mark Twin, too, expresses his enthusiastic and patriotic emotion towards the war in his The War Prayer....   [tags: Jonathan Swift, Modest Proposal]

Better Essays
744 words (2.1 pages)

Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal Essay

- Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”      In Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” published in 1729, Swift engages in an extraordinary amount of irony and satire. Swift states that in order to reduce famine in Ireland and to solve the problems that they are having that eating children would be a good solution. This is not the purpose of Swift’s essay. The real intent was to get the people of Britain to notice that the ideas that they were coming up with were not any better than his satirical one, and new ideas and efforts needed to come forth in order to solve the problem....   [tags: Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal]

Better Essays
460 words (1.3 pages)

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift Essay

- A Modest Proposal A Modest Proposal is everything that a satirical story should be. It includes sarcasm and irony as Jonathan Swift takes us through a roller coaster ride to show us how the poor are treated miserably. The narrator begins by leading us down a path. He seems sincere and thinks it is a pity how everywhere you walk in the streets of Dublin you see the poor begging people for hand outs. He is seeking a solution to help the commonwealth. He appears to be a logical, educated person who makes it clear that he has been studying this subject for years....   [tags: sarcasm irony satire]

Better Essays
1465 words (4.2 pages)