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Cry To Attention

3 Pages 716 Words

“A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift is an example of satire, which is a work of literature that uses great wit to point out in a mocking manner the frailties or maliciousness of individuals, groups or mankind usually in order to prompt a correction or a response from the reader. “A Modest Proposal” is a fine example of satire because of the way Swift incorporates great use of irony, sarcasm, and satire to point out the problems in Ireland to the English people.
The irony Swift uses starting in the first paragraphs opens the way for his seemingly “modest” proposal. He begins in the first paragraphs by stating the problem of poverty in Ireland and then professes to have a legitimate solution to help. (Swift 1113) The irony begins on the next page as Swift talks about how babies are cheapest to care for in the first year as they are still nursing from their mothers. After this year, Swift proposes that they be taken from their mothers and will contribute to the feeding and clothing of them, instead of being burdens. (Swift 1114) All of Swift’s solutions are very ironic because it would almost certainly help the people of Ireland have fewer mouths to feed and more food to eat, however, the way he proposes to do it is so outrageous that no one would ever consider putting his solution into effect.
The satire in “A Modest Proposal” is so outlandish it is funny. Who would ever think of writing about raising human babies as food so that the country would be a better place? Swift tells the reader of how a “ young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food…” (Swift 1114) If the readers had been falling asleep by this point, this sentence should surely wake them up. Swift goes on the tell the readers of different ways the children could be cooked and about how a certain percentage of children born should be saved so that they could be bred for future generations of food...

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