Modest Proposal

Topics: Jonathan Swift, Satire, Irish people Pages: 2 (659 words) Published: June 15, 2011
1.In “A Modest Proposal”, Swift begins to voice his opinion of Ireland’s poverty and suffering individuals. After reading the first few words, a reader would think Swift has some sympathy for these poor people; however, Swift’s satire ends up having a twist. Swift states, “I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled.” The reader learns of Swift’s brutal proposal and is blown away at some of the ideas. This statement makes it clear that Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is a persona in which Swift poses as the narrator.

2.When portraying the gruesome ideas, Swift’s intended audience is England. He mentions Irish people being treated in callous ways. This pamphlet was written by Swift to expose the unjust and sufferings of Irish men and women. He criticizes England and their pitiless treatment. For instance, Swift mentions, “the poor tenants will have something valuable of their own, which by law may be made liable to distress, and help to pay their landlord’s rent, their corn and cattle being already seized and money a thing unknown.” Here, Swift shows that England never let the Irish have possession of anything and were strict and selfish. Money is an unknown thing because the tenants have nothing to keep and constantly have to pay their landlord’s. By stating this, Swift insults the English landlord’s and wants to make a better change for the Irish.

3.Jonathan Swift used figurative language such as hyperboles and irony in his essay. For example, one hyperbole that Swift stated was of the plump girl’s body being sold for four hundred crowns. This is considered a hyperbole because one dead body should not cost that much. Another exaggeration that Swift used was when he say, “useful members of the commonwealth would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a...
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