Dear Mr Smarmy

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  • Topic: Jonathan Swift, Satire, Proposals
  • Pages : 3 (911 words )
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  • Published : May 26, 2010
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Dear Mr. Smarmy,
I have received your letter and have taken in your concerns about the assigned reading of Jonathan Swifts A Modest Proposal. I have written this letter to put your mind at ease and to inform you that the purpose of the reading was to challenge the student’s minds on understanding satirical devices. The students are familiar with the definition of satire and they understand that it is sarcasm used to convey insults or scorn. The full title of the story is “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burthen to their Parents, or the Country, and for making them Beneficial to the Publick”. Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal is an excellent example of the sharp wit and biting sarcasm that was employed in the satire of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Swift uses an ironically conceived attempt to “find out a fair, cheap, and easy method” for converting the starving children of Ireland into "sound and useful members of the Commonwealth”. During this time period the poor children of the country are living in squalor's because their families are too poor to keep them fed and clothed. Swift uses economic reasoning for his persuasive benefit in turning this problem into its own solution. At first glance the proposal may come off as him stating to fatten up the undernourished kids of the poor people and to feed them to Ireland's rich land owners. To solve unemployment and overpopulation he makes a proposal to sell the children of the poor in a meat market starting at the age of one. This in effect would spare families the expense of child bearing while providing them with extra income improving the culinary experience of the wealthy and contributing to the overall well-being of the nation. The author uses statistical support for his assertions and gives specific data about the number of children to be sold, their weight and price and the consumption patterns. Although he suggests some recipes for preparing...
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