Modest Proposal

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A modest proposal by Jonathan Swift is a satirical essay written in 1729. It was written in protest of the English treatment of the catholic people in Ireland. During the late 17th century, political pamphlets were distributed throughout Ireland to promote the ideas of various intellectuals and laymen. Jonathan Swift took advantage of the overlooked pamphlets, and constructs a ridiculous proposal. He does this to illustrate how backwards and bad the state of Ireland is and the social classes. “A Modest Proposal” also reveals to the reader a senses of resentment towards Roman Catholics, often referred to as “papists” within the essay. As we can see from his essay, Swift want the people of Ireland to take a stand against English opposition, work towards Irish “self determination,” and have an overall sense of national pride to solve Ireland’s economic situation. Not only does Swift blame other for the state of the poverty in Ireland; he also exaggerates how horrible it is to amplify how poor and disgusting Ireland was. He first does this by making his “proposal” unserious. One way he makes his argument unserious when he starts to become insincere. However, he uses the dishonesty and insincerity to his advantage in his underlying thought of the essay. Jonathan Swift also uses irony to satirizes what is going on in Ireland. For instance, Swift says to “sacrifice the poor innocent babes” to “prevent...voluntary abortions and [the] horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children”. He is telling the reader that women are performing abortion because they were not financially stable to support their children and that children are actually stealing at the age of six, just to survive. Swift incorporates a diverse system of rhetoric in “A Modest Proposal” that gives the reader a “love-hate” relationship with the speaker. In the 1st paragraph of the essay, Swift uses language to show that he is very sympathetic toward the poor women and their children. It creates...
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