A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift: Review

Topics: Jonathan Swift, Satire, A Modest Proposal Pages: 2 (777 words) Published: October 10, 2008
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift was written in 1720 as a satirical piece to highlight the child abuse inflicted on Irish catholic children by well to do English protestants. Swifts native heritage of Ireland put him in an excellent position as an observer and, eventually, a commentator, on the extreme poverty experienced by the Irish population. This poverty mostly caused by the ‘ruling class’ … the English…and their appalling mistreatment of Ireland, its people and its land. In A Modest Proposal, Swift satirizes the English landlords with outrageous humour, proposing that Irish infants be sold as food at age one.

The main audience for Modest Proposal started as The English Protestants however it did not succeed with but took strongly to the Irish. Ireland lived on the edge of starvation and poverty for many years, causing this to create an importance to the Irish. Demonstrating an effective use of satire through out the piece, satire being a literary composition incorporating techniques such as irony and sarcasm, proven by his satirical language and persuasive techniques. Swift mentions real reforms that could help Ireland at specific points in the essay to give it an over powering effect that strengthens the moment. The language is specific and succinct and is packed with wit and irony. Swift carefully selects words to shock and amuse the audience. He makes specific references to Catholics and Jews through sarcasm are interpreted as the different views of religion and their contribution to the situation the essay covers. Swifts Social politics come through relatively clearly, placing much of the blame for the state of the nation on the greed and wealth of the upper class, however swift goes into intricate detail to bring his point across.

He starts the piece off by opening his proposal with a humble explanation of how he has the country in best interest. He grabs the audiences attention by informing them that...
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