Satire and Modest Proposal

Topics: Satire, Jonathan Swift, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Pages: 2 (718 words) Published: November 1, 2005
Satire has been a major part of history. It has helped to make changes that would otherwise have never happened. The definition of satire is: "A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit" ( We can see all different kinds of satire through the ages. Classical satire, political satire, modern satire and even cruel satire are preset in our world today. A few famous satirists are Jonathan Swift, Jon Stewart, and Mark Twain and are prime examples of the different ages of satire.

Jonathan Swift was an Irishman who wrote satire about the failing condition of his nation. In the time of Swift, his nation was suffering from poverty, famine and disease, all of which, he said, could be prevented. In his satire titled, "A Modest Proposal", Swift explains how a lot of Ireland's dire straits could be solved if the poor fattened up their babies and sold them as food for the wealth elite. Thusly, the poor would get money and be able to buy food or get a job and contribute to society. He tried to make this piece sound logical by adding statistics and calculations into it. This piece was not well received and his peers looked down upon him for his "bad taste", and almost lost his patronage as well (the wiki source on Swift here). However, when people look at this piece today, they see one of the greatest examples of English satire in existence.

Jon Stewart, on the other hand, is a prime example of a satirist in present day. His "news show" is entitled "The Daily Show" and the entire purpose of it is to satirize the national media and the way they present news. The "Daily Show" started in 1996 on the Comedy Central Network and has been gaining popularity ever since. Its blatant attacks on the news media are something that Americans find funny. It is a show that you never know if you're supposed to take it seriously or not. In the world of modern satire, the "Daily Show" is king.

Finally, we have the...
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