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Information about Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal?

18 Jan 2017 21:24 | Author: blackwolf935 | Category: College compare and contrast essay examples

A Modest Proposal For preventing the Children of Poor People From being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick , [1] commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal , is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729. Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocked heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as British policy toward the Irish in general.

Swift goes to great lengths to support his argument, including a list of possible preparation styles for the children, and calculations showing the financial benefits of his suggestion. He uses methods of argument throughout his essay which lampoon the then-influential William Petty and the social engineering popular among followers of Francis Bacon. These lampoons include appealing to the authority of "a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London" and "the famous Psalmanazar , a native of the island Formosa " (who had already confessed to not being from Formosa in 1706). This essay is widely held to be one of the greatest examples of sustained irony in the history of the English language. Much of its shock value derives from the fact that the first portion of the essay describes the plight of starving beggars in Ireland, so that the reader is unprepared for the surprise of Swift's solution when he states, "A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee , or a ragout." [1]

Comments
  1. author
    purplekoala517 18 Jan 2017 08:33

    Problem: Too many people can t afford proper health care. Solution: Every family would be required to pay the health bills of their next-door-neighbor on the left side. This will not only ensure that the other family s health needs can be taken care of, but it will also give people a preview of what it means to do the same thing but through nationalized healthcare.

  2. author
     ⚡L Е Г Ʌ L Ʌ Й З ⚡ 18 Jan 2017 04:56

    In English writing, the phrase "a modest proposal" is now conventionally an allusion to this style of straight-faced satire.

    Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, ''''''''''''''''till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.

    But in fact there s nothing straightforward about "A Modest Proposal." As you read Swift s proposal, originally published anonymously in 1729, consider why it has been characterized as "a masterpiece of ironic logic." When you are done, you may want to try our Reading Quiz on "A Modest Proposal."  You may also find it worthwhile to compare Swift s essay to two other classic proposals: "An Economical Project" by Benjamin Franklin and "Portrait of an Ideal World" by H.L. Mencken.

    For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public

    This entry presents criticism of Swift's 1729 satire A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of the Poor People from Being a Burthen to Their Parents, or the Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick. See also Gulliver's Travels Criticism (1726).

    Your original question contained two questions. You are not allowed to ask multiple questions in enotes, so I have edited the second question and will focus on your first. Please remember to only.

  3. What are 3 examples of irony in " A Modest Proposal"?

  • author
    heavyostrich103 18 Jan 2017 00:40

    "A Modest Proposal" (one of the best pieces of satire EVER, in my opinion) discusses the plight of the poor in Ireland. His audience is made up of both well-to-do English, and well-to-do Irish. The English, he blames for making life for the Irish miserable that he tells opponents to "ask the parents of these mortals [the children being eaten], whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been sold for food, at a year old in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes as they have since gone through." A pretty harsh criticism. But he doesn t spare the Irish any blame either. He lists all of the expedients that the Irish themselves could take to solve their own problems but haven t ("Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither cloaths, nor houshold furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture:. Of introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and temperance: Of learning to love our country. etc. ). The harshest comment he makes (and he makes some pretty nasty comments) is "let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, till he hath at least some glimpse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice." In other words, these are all reasonable solutions, but the Irish would never put them into practice. Then he goes on to say that he once (foolish idealist that he was) supported these and similar ideas, but time has proven his idealism wrong, and now he realizes that eating babies is the only way to solve the problem. Ouch. To sum up his arguement: The Irish are cursed with miserable poverty, which is both the fault of their own vice and idleness and of English cruelty. England and Ireland must both accept responsibility, and take a hand in making life better, *because the way things are now, most people in Ireland would be better off dead.*

  • author
    yellowmeercat319 18 Jan 2017 08:17

    In English writing, the phrase "a modest proposal" is now conventionally an allusion to this style of straight-faced satire.

    Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.

    But in fact there s nothing straightforward about "A Modest Proposal." As you read Swift s proposal, originally published anonymously in 1729, consider why it has been characterized as "a masterpiece of ironic logic." When you are done, you may want to try our Reading Quiz on "A Modest Proposal."  You may also find it worthwhile to compare Swift s essay to two other classic proposals: "An Economical Project" by Benjamin Franklin and "Portrait of an Ideal World" by H.L. Mencken.

    For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public

    This entry presents criticism of Swift''s 1729 satire A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of the Poor People from Being a Burthen to Their Parents, or the Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick. See also Gulliver''s Travels Criticism (1726).

    Your original question contained two questions. You are not allowed to ask multiple questions in enotes, so I have edited the second question and will focus on your first. Please remember to only.

  • What are 3 examples of irony in " A Modest Proposal"?

  • author
    silvergorilla932 18 Jan 2017 07:59

    Since you are in a philosophy class, I do hope you understand that Swift s Proposal is 100% satirical. Knowing that, one might boil down his actually very logical argument down to this: Harvesting humans for food will lessen starvation and control the population. (That s basically what he s saying throughout the whole thing.) Premises are any points Swift makes that support his argument, as in his ideas on how efficient cannibalism would actually be (if I remember correctly, he has a few percentages that he s calculated). Conclusion-wise, that would be an answer to the question, "How does the argument end?/Do you believe that the argument achieved its purpose?" Now, as the essay is satirical, one could answer the question(s) two ways: Take the essay literally and answer it according to what the text actually says, OR dig deep into the true meaning of the essay and try to figure out what Swift is actually arguing (Hint: He s not actually advocating that the country cooks up babies and chucks em into meat pies), then answer it according to the actual meaning. Hopefully this helps!