In a Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift, the main objective was to draw attention to the plight of the Irish people and motivate readers to find a workable solution. Swift shows the readers his proposal mainly through irony. Irony can be defined as expressing the opposite of what is meant. This is a great technique of the sense of humor used in the proposal and in Swift.
One of the voices that are present throughout the story is that of irony. The story itself is ironic since no one can take Swifts proposal seriously. This irony is clearly demonstrated at the end of the story; Swift makes it clear that this proposal would not affect him since his children were grown and his wife unable to have any more children. It would be rather absurd to think that a rational man would want to both propose this and partake in the eating of another human being. Therefore, before an canalization can continue, one has to make the assumption that this is strictly a fictional work and Swift had no intention of pursuing his proposal any further.
One of the other voices that are present throughout the entire story is that of sarcasm. Right from the first paragraph Swift attempts to fool his readers by the sarcasm of the dreary scene that Swift presents. For example, he mentions that it is a melancholy sight to see beggars and their children on the street. The sarcastic paradox in this statement is whether it is a melancholy object for him, having to see homeless people every day, or for the beggars lifestyle? Upon first reading this one may be led to believe that Swift is a compassionate writer attempting to feel the pain of the beggars. But as the story continues, a reader can look back and note that he is using a sarcastic tone and the only sad sight that he sees is the fact that people of his status have to deal with commoners. It is a good combination that makes the reader think twice about any other statements, and the voice used, after the first paragraph....
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