1117 This page critiques Swift's 1729 satire, A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burthen to Their Parents or the Country, and Making Them Beneficial to the Public. Criticism of Gulliver's Travels (1726).
A simple suggestion
The article "A Modest Proposal" is a proposal made by a guy called Jonathan Swift, who is well renowned for his satirical essay Gulliver's Travels. Swift creates a satirical exaggeration that mocks the cruel Irish views toward the poor while the inhabitants of Dublin are suffering from poverty and overcrowding. He suggests that they should send all the children away to be eaten by wolves or boiled in their parents' eyes to stop them being raised up in sin.
Swift published the essay in 1729. He came up with the idea after reading about the suffering in Ireland at the time. He wanted to bring attention to the issue but not be seen as trying to get money out of people. So he created something like a hoax where he suggested that they try this kind of treatment instead!
Although it was written over 200 years ago, it has never been out of print since then. It has been included in almost every edition of the best-selling Oxford English Dictionary and has been described as one of the most famous essays in history.
What is so interesting about this essay is that it shows that you can make a serious suggestion that relies on something humorous. This means that you shouldn't worry about someone taking you seriously if you want to make a proposal to them. They need to laugh first before they will listen to what you have to say!
Swift's paper is officially titled "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burthen to their Parents or the Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public." The tract is a sarcastically designed attempt to "create a fair, affordable, and simple manner" of persuading the hungry... that it is in their own interest to eat well-balanced meals.
In addition to its satire on the problems of poverty in early 18th-century England, the work also contains one of the first uses of the word "modest" as an adjective. Today we use the term to describe something that is not overbearing or aggressive but Swift used it in reference to food because he thought that poor people should eat in moderation since they could not afford luxuries. He wrote, "a modest proposal for preventing the children of poor people from being a burden to themor their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the public."
Swift proposed that the government should establish free schools where poor children would be fed cheaply and educated privately by private individuals. They would be taught skills that would make them useful to their families or to the community and at the end of their education they would be given small stipends so that they would have an incentive to work and help support themselves and their families.
The essay was written as a reply to Edward Young's Poems on Various Subjects which included a poem entitled "A Modest Proposal".
Swift amplifies society's politics to the point of blatant ridiculousness in his unusual narrative "A Modest Proposal." Swift exaggerates in this article, claiming that the only way to save Ireland from poverty and overpopulation is to murder the children of impoverished families. He suggests that we sell them as food to the highest bidder.
One could argue that this is an example of exaggeration. Although Swift does suggest that this is the only way to solve Ireland's problem, he also says that it is just a proposal that should be considered if other options are not available.
Moderate in comparison to his later work, "A Modest Proposal" was originally published in 1729. It proposes a solution for Ireland's poor housing situation and overpopulation by killing young children and selling the bones for fertilizer.
Swift uses irony to make his point about the injustice of poverty and overpopulation in Ireland explicit while still keeping his audience entertained. By doing so, he succeeds in getting his message across even though some may consider his suggestion to be outrageous.
Jonathan Swift employs literary tropes such as satire, imagery, exaggeration, wordplay, irony, and paralipsis in "A Modest Proposal." These techniques are used to make his political message more effective.
Swift uses the guise of a children's book to make his political message heard by the upper class. He begins by asking: "Why should the poor be taxed more than the rich?" (page 1). This question leads up to the main point of his story: "That it is our duty to provide for the poor" (page 8). By doing this, he hopes to get governments to change their policies.
Through his use of satire, imagery, and wordplay, Jonathan Swift aims to ridicule the idea that eating children is acceptable behavior. He also uses these methods to show how some people are better off dead than living in poverty. Finally, he demonstrates how power is distributed among different groups in society through irony and paralipsis - or omission- where it seems as if something important is being left out.
In conclusion, "A Modest Proposal" uses many literary devices to make its political message understood by those who would otherwise not listen. These tools include satire, imagery, exaggeration, wordplay, irony, and paralipsis.