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A Modest Proposal

pages 10-14
by

julia pecora

on 1 May 2013

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Transcript of A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal A Prezi by Stylistic techniques Satire Satire Aimed at Irish Society How and Why Swift is Satirical Satire Aimed at Politicians Theme Tone/Mood Situational Irony Time Period Jonathan Swift Background During the Restoration, people wanted to participate in the prosperity that was going on around them. Journalism and writing was a way to become a part of the advancement.
Journalism became more popular during the early 1700s because it was a way to easily influence the now majorly literate population. It was the best source of news as well as entertainment. He was born on November 30th 1667 and he died on October 19th 1745.
he was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, poet, and political pamphleteer.
one of his most famous satirical articles was "A Modest Proposal" Swift proposes to eat children "at merry meetings, particularly at weddings and christenings," which would imply celebrating the birth of one child by eating a different one (Swift 11). A wedding is symbolic of renewal or the union of two people who appreciate each other, so the sacrifice of an innocent life is not necessarily fit for such an occasion.
In addition, Swift suggests that selling children for profit would result in an increase in "the care and tenderness of mothers and towards their children," which contradicts the idea of forfeiting the children for the consumption of others (Swift 10). During the 1700's in Ireland, there was an emphasis on religion and family in the Irish culture
Large families were common, as was poverty. Swift writes such a preposterous proposal as a type of challenge aimed towards politicians of the time. He points out flaws in Ireland (poverty and starvation) but does not give a serious solution. Nicolette Smith, Julia Pecora,
Hannah Ketchum, Lexi Adrion,
Daniel Senno, Rachel Sullivan,
and Bryce Walker Swift pokes fun at the overpopulation in Ireland at the time as the population grew- people were perceived as "property" instead of individuals
He dehumanized the Irish people by stating that "men would become fond of their wives... as they are of mares in foals, their cows in calf" (Swift 10). Journalism During the early 1700's, Ireland was still under the rule of Great Britain. The Irish attempted several times to gain their independence, yet they proved to be unsuccessful in their efforts. In order to deter and prevent rebellion, the British government passed many oppressing laws. Penal Laws The Irish were not allowed to carry firearms or any other weapon, in order to avoid a violent rebellion. They also were not allowed to gain a higher education, such as attending a college. The Irish citizens were prohibited from owning large quantities of land, as well as the amount of wealth family could possess. Though Swift's proposal is designed to be jocular, he wrote it with the goal of drawing attention to important issues facing the nation at the time. Toward the end of his proposal, he draws away from his cannibalistic ideas and takes on a slightly more serious tone. Swift requests that "those politicians who dislike [his] overture, and may perhaps be so bold to attempt an answer, that they will first ask the parents of these mortals, whether they would not at this day think it is a great happiness to have been sold for food at a year old" (Swift 13). This is a direct stab at the politicians, who Swift believes are not doing enough to help the poor majority in Ireland. Jonathan Swift writes with a clear nonchalance saying that "this food would likewise bring great custom to taverns...and a skilful cook, who understands how to oblige his guests, will contrive t make it as expensive as they please," (Swift 10).
This is evidence of his relaxed composition which sets the mood as lackadaisical and there's nothing to worry about. He claims that this is his "remedy for this one individual Kingdom of Ireland, and for no other that ever was, is, or, [he] think[s], ever can be upon Earth," (Swift 11). Swift wrote during a time when journalism was becoming increasingly popular. His proposal at first appears to be a political essay but is actually a fictional writing designed to get a response from its readers.
Through the use of stylistic techniques such as irony, Swift is able to write a humorous proposal that touches on very serious issues. English Restoration England and their governed bodies including Ireland, Scotland, and Wales attempted to restore their prosperity and glory that they once had. With this came an emphasis on liberty, toleration, and social and economic success. They also pardoned all past reasons, specifically those involved in the execution of King Charles I. The primary goal of the restoration was to mend all of the issues of every aspect of society. Throughout this work, Swift presents the idea that he is attempting to find a solution for the population crisis that is in the best interest of everyone in the nation. He says that he has "not the least personal interest in endeavouring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the publick good of [his] country, by advancing trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich" (Swift 14). Swift possesses no motivation other than to better his nation, an undertaking which no politician has come forth to take responsibility of thus far.
However, Swift does not hold himself above others and is open to "any offer, proposed by wise men, which shall be found equally innocent, cheap, easy, and effectual" (Swift 13). Since no one has provided such an offer, he has taken it upon himself to find an efficient manner in which to deal with this problem. Swifts attitude towards the subject of eating children is completely opposite of the societal values of the time and creates a disturbed feeling to the reader today
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