Swift's "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 analyzation of minute details in the story, but rather in the context of the story as it is written.
One of the voices that is present throughout the story is ...

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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 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 ...

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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 more rich, 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 meal to that of eating a pig. He elaborates by naming ...

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Swift's "A Modest Proposal". (2005, June 9). Retrieved January 27, 2021, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Swifts-A-Modest-Proposal/28239
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"Swift's "A Modest Proposal"." Essayworld.com. June 9, 2005. Accessed January 27, 2021. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Swifts-A-Modest-Proposal/28239.
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Added: 6/9/2005 04:41:01 PM
Category: English
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1495
Pages: 6

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