Jonathan Swifts A Modest Propo


Jonathan Swift: A Modest Proposal
In his lengthy literary career, Jonathan Swift wrote many stories that used a broad range of voices that were used to make some compelling personal statements. For example, Swifts, A Modest Proposal, is often heralded as his best use of both sarcasm and irony. Yet taking into account the persona of Swift, as well as the period in which it was written, one can prove that through that same use of sarcasm and irony, this proposal is actually written to entertain the upper-class. Therefore the true irony in this story lies not in the review of minute details in the story, but rather in the context of the story as it is written.
One of the voices that is ...

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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 is present throughout the entire story is that of sarcasm. In order to understand this further, a reader has to comprehend that Swift, becoming infamous after Gullivers Travels, was a member of the upper class. 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 beggar’s 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 ...

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from the rich families. In short, Swift’s message is that rich children serve a purpose, the advancement of Ireland, while poor children are nothing but a burden to the republic.
One other clear indication that Swift was motivated by his hatred for the poor is the list of six reasons that he write to qualify his proposal. In the third statement, Swift explains how by buying the children and then selling them to their friends, the upper class can keep on thriving. This was a plan to get themselves even richer, as Swift states; "the money will circulate among ourselves, the goods being entirely of our own growth and manufacture.” Secondly, he also compares this type of ...

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Added: 2/13/2006 01:18:47 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1518
Pages: 6

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