A Modest Proposal

Topics: Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal, Satire Pages: 4 (1292 words) Published: December 3, 2009
In Jonathan Swift'sA Modest Proposal, the tone of a Juvenalian satire is evident in its text. Swift uses the title of his essay to begin his perfect example of a Juvenalian satire. Swift gives a moral justification to the dehumanization of the Irish and attempts to provide 'logical' solutions to their problems. Despite Swift's use of belittling language towards the Irish, he uses positive strategy to make his true point known. Swift declares children as the underlying cause of the parents' inability to obtain a successful occupation. Swift's scornful disregard for infants is one ploy in attracting the attention of the population. Swift uses a rhetorical style that causes the reader to loathe the narrator, who is depicted as a member of the 'upper-class.' Jonathan Swift truly ascertains the true essence of a Juvenalian satire and parallels it with the text of his essay, A Modest Proposal.

Juvenalian satire uses dark and sarcastic humor over other satirical techniques in order to offer callous criticisms of incompetence or corruption. Even before the essay, Swift implements his 'dark humor' with his title. A Modest Proposal is truly anything but modest. The absurdities he uses to portray his solutions to all of Ireland's problems. For example, offering suggestions of cannibalism is outrageous, yet follows still remains consistent with 'dark humor.' The narrator says, "A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter"(385). He uses this and many other absurd scenarios in order to support his 'dark humor.'Hidden amongst all the rhetorical tricks, lies a true moral theme. The speaker's ludicrous solutions to Ireland's problems cause the reader to become aware of the extent of the dilemma. Tremendously disgusted with the speaker's solutions, the readers protest...

Bibliography: Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
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