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Copy of Copy of A Modest Proposal

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Jennifer Diaz

on 5 November 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal
Historical Context
Penal Laws
No Catholic may bequeath his lands as a whole but must divide it amongst his sons, but if one of these sons becomes Protestant he will inherit the whole estate.
No Catholic can buy land or lease it for more than 31 years.
No Catholic shall be allowed to vote or become a member of Parliament or a town councilor.
No Catholic shall join the civil service.
No Catholic may be a solicitor or lawyer.
No Catholic may join the army or navy.
Catholics keeping guns are liable to a whipping.
Catholics may not receive higher education or take professional jobs.
Most Irish people were Catholic. These laws meant they had lost all power and lived in conditions of extreme poverty.
Political Pamphlets
Before the development of general, non-partisan newspapers, the pamphlet was the most important medium for public discussion for a wide range of issues.

They were often published anonymously and focused on a relevant topic of the day. Solutions to the problems of Ireland was a common subject of pamphlets.

Swift was already a noted author at this point having published
Gulliver's Travels
in 1726. "A Modest Proposal" was originally published anonymously.
“A Modest Proposal” is a classic example of
persuasive writing used for the purpose of satire.

Watch for these persuasive techniques:
Logos: logical appeals use evidence such as facts or statistics to support a position.
Pathos: emotional appeals use words that arouse strong feelings in the reader.
Ethos: ethical appeals establish the writer’s sincerity and qualifications. Establishes the writer's authority.

A Modest Proposal Annotations
1. Follow vocabulary annotation directions.
2. Circle any other words you do not know the meaning of (there will be a lot).
3. Make any of the text connections.
4. Ask questions, make comments,
"talk" to the text
5. Mark any satirical technique you find.
6. Mark any of the persuasive techniques
you find.
Jonathan Swift
Born Dublin 1667-Died Dublin 1745
Father died before he was born.
Well educated.
Bachelor's Degree at age 19.
Met his wife when she was 8. He was 15 years older than her.
He kept a lock of her hair in his possession at all times.
Known for writing
Gulliver's Travels
- a satire. It has never been out of print since its publication.
An outcast to many because of his views and his critical attitude toward society and humanity as a whole.
Known as one of Ireland's greatest patriots.
Noted as one of the greatest prose writers of the 18th Century.
Died in 1745.

1700: Ireland completely dominated by England. Seemed like a conquered territory.
The vast majority of land was owned by Protestant English nobleman (landlords) and laws governing Ireland came from the English Parliament.
The native people of Ireland were majority Catholic and worked on the land of these landlords as agricultural labourers or leased small sections of land as tenant farmers.
Many of these landlords lived in England and were called "absentee landlords". The rent revenue was sent to England, collected from the impoverished tenants who were paid minimal wages to raise crops and livestock for export.
The English strangled Ireland economically, restricting Irish trade and agriculture.
Few jobs were available and life was harsh for Ireland’s poor

1. Define the words

2. Based on the historical background and title, what do you think the text will be about? Remember, it's satirical!

"A Modest Proposal" was published in 1729.
“Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind reception it meets with in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.”
~Jonathan Swift
Full transcript