Themes in a modest proposal. How does the tone help to reveal the theme in 'A Modest Proposal' by Jonathan Swift? 2019-01-06

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A Modest Proposal Themes from LitCharts

themes in a modest proposal

Which false premise does the author rely on in this excerpt? A Modest Proposal was a satire written in 1729 by Jonathan Swiftand published anonymously. It infers that Americans eat babies. Summary of 'A Modest Proposal' 'A Modest Proposal,' written by Jonathan Swift in 1729, begins by deploring the sad fate of the poverty-stricken Irish who have to spend all their time trying to feed their large families. While he doesn't make efforts to overtly instill sympathy toward the Catholics, his caustic style of writing does make ample sarcastic and outrageous comments that allude his concern for them, however fleeting or humorous it may seem. His tone is full of mockery and snide, but not maliciousremarks. The Irish are often mistaken to be the audience since the text directly addresses them.

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Satire in Swift's Modest Pre

themes in a modest proposal

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 utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury. I desire the reader will observe, that I calculate my remedy for this one individual Kingdom of Ireland, and for no other that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon Earth. He more likely was suggesting that such beliefs were destructive and foolish, since he put those ideas in the writing of a very prejudiced narrator. Lesson Summary Jonathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' is a satirical essay meant to underline the problems of both the English and the Irish in 1729. Thesarcastic tone in his voice was the easiest thing for me to pick-upon. He sarcastically explains that it was easy to try and get rid of a social problem with a fast cheap way, and to feel indifferent about poor people.

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A Modest Proposal

themes in a modest proposal

However, he does not bluntly come out and let the readers know that his ideas are not to be taken seriously, and some readers get offended. Therefore, it seems like a good idea that the people of Ireland simply eat the infants when they reach the age of one year. He did nothonestly believe that the upper class sho … uld eat children butrather that the politicians of the day needed to recognize the trueproblems in their society, as Swift lists them in the second tolast paragraph. He includes discouraging vanity, taxing absentee landlords, and encouraging domestic trade by purchasing Irish goods and services. In his proposal, Swift vents his growing aggravation at the incompetence of Ireland's politicians, the hypocrisy of the wealthy, the tyranny of the English and the squalor and degradation in which he saw so many Irish people living. He believes that his proposal's sole intention is to abate the crisis of the poor and gratify the rich.

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Thesis in A Modest Proposal

themes in a modest proposal

He uses the prevailing stereotype that Irish Catholics tend to have a lot of children, to mock the English indifference to the plight of the Irish and to their own part in it. The factions, respectively, are figured as a bee and a spider. What is most likely the purpose of this excerpt? In A Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift uses parody when he makes fun of the p … eople and their children. GradeSaver, 30 May 2010 Web. The idea is so extreme that it demonstrates the overall irony of the piece.

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The theme of Satire and Sincerity in A Modest Proposal from LitCharts

themes in a modest proposal

But, while 'A Modest Proposal' bemoans the bleak situation of an Ireland almost totally subject to England's exploitation, it also expresses Swift's contempt for the Irish people's seeming inability to stand up for themselves. He returns to the chief proposal and lists six reasons why it should be adopted. Swift is a man of detail. What your answer is is more like the theme of the essay. Swift's tract parodies the style and method of these, and the grim irony of his own solution reveals his personal despair at the failure of all this paper journalism to achieve any actual progress.

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Jonathan Swift Writing Styles in A Modest Proposal

themes in a modest proposal

What is Swift's purpose in listing other ways to solve the issue of poverty? Finally, when the writer reassures the reader that he has nothing to gain economically from his proposal, for he has no children, Swift is playing on the common protestation of writers that their political and social proposals are made altruistically for the good of society and should therefore be believed to be all the more sincere. Swift responds by saying that this is the point. In Protestant England, many people might have shared the stereotypes about Irish Catholics, who would never go so far as Swift suggests in eating children. He hopes, with this line, and with this piece, to liken the abolishing of Christianity to the repeal of the Test Act of 1673, which required individuals who wished to hold public office to take Communion. He ironically states that Catholics are the Protestants worse enemy. If the writer did have children and lived in Ireland, it would be consistent to eat them or sell them. Swift lulls the reader into a false sense of trust in the narrator's good intentions by beginning with descriptions of the position of the poor in Ireland.

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Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal: Summary & Analysis

themes in a modest proposal

The speaker presents the problem that Ireland is overpopulated by children whose parents cannot provide for them. Then, when they were nicely fattened up,they could be killed and eaten. He also wants people to understand that all of the people of England and Ireland that are not in poverty are in fact greedy and corrupted. At the time he was writing, abolishing the religion would have been absurd. People who treat humans as mere figures and the ones who fail to view them with compassion and humanity wouldn't shy away from actuating Swift's proposal of looking at babies as livestock. Which statement best describes Swift's use of rhetorical devices in this excerpt? He is not willing to entertain any other arguments for solving the problem, like virtue and thrift.

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Jonathan Swift Writing Styles in A Modest Proposal

themes in a modest proposal

The parents will experience a financial benefit and all of the above problems will basically be counteracted. There are plenty more examples. This quarrel first began, as I have heard it affirmed by an old dweller in the neighbourhood, about a small spot of ground, lying and being upon one of the two tops of the hill Parnassus; the highest and largest of which had, it seems, been time out of mind in quiet possession of certain tenants, called the Ancients; and the other was held by the Moderns. Though Swift wrote the tract in response to the specific social conditions afflicting his native Ireland, its bitter humor shocks and delights as much now as it did in 1729, when it circulated the streets of Dublin as an anonymous pamphlet. The power of the satire directly addresses the thought process behind the English and hopes to portray their lack of morality. What would be ironic is that the author assumes that stealing is the legitimate or at least the expected livelihood of Irish youth.

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