Studying Jonathan Swifts A Modest Proposal English Literature Essay

Jonathan Swift ‘s A Modest Proposal is a perfect illustration of the biting irony and crisp humor that was exercised in the sarcasm of the early 18th century. Through his effectual executing of satirical comparings and dry exaggerations, Swift manages to bring down his inventiveness in a manner and to a certain extent that was about alone in plants of literature. “ A Modest Proposal, ” by Jonathan Swift, introduces many undistinguished solutions every bit good as one head thought for Ireland ‘s epidemic-like dearth to the reader. The taking statement declares that a possible reply for the nutrient crisis would be to banquet on the destitute kids of the Irish society, who are destined to a life of stealing, imploring, unemployment and dearth. Even though this proposal is bound to raise emotions, the impression is steadfastly put forth in an orderly and logical manner in contrast to a moral and more bosom felt method. Those who are familiar with Swift ‘s work are easy able to capture facets about his essay that could be instead negative to those who have non read Swift ‘s work because of Swift ‘s ability to conceal truth and powerful messages within his work through consummate usage of sarcasm, irony and humor.

Swift ‘s usage of the word “ modest ” to specify his proposal, presents a exaggeration of heroic proportions. The usage of such a low word to mention to a proposal as appalling and horrific as that which is depicted in the proposal is perfectly farcical in criterion, and this is precisely why it is so successful in its usage. A well-executed paradox is a superb manner to capture the attending of an audience, and Swift shows us why he is frequently described to be a maestro of this pattern. You merely need to read several lines into the book of “ A Modest Proposal ” before it turns out to be unimpeachably clear that the suggestion is anything but “ modest. ” In brief, his “ proposal ” is that the state of Ireland ‘s population issue could be resolved by selling a immense per centum if it ‘s one twelvemonth old childs on the market to be used as a new nutrient beginning, therefore supplying money for impoverished lower category female parents and doing them utile to society. When indicated this manner, the lurid nature of the strategy is clear. On the other manus, Swift exercises such masterfully unostentatious and cagey linguistic communication that the reader is about persuaded to non acknowledge the clear unacceptable facets of his proposal and to O.K. of his statements.

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As mentioned one negative about Swift ‘s “ proposal ” is that he is ill-defined in stating his readers whether his alleged “ proposal ” is all that “ modest ” or to be taken into history. Some wonder that the use of sarcasm may lead on readers, chiefly those who are n’t used to Swift ‘s rhetoric device. Nevertheless, readers can hold on the Swift ‘s existent intent for his proposal if they focus some attending on several sentences. For case, “ I grant this nutrient will be slightly beloved, and hence really proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to hold the best rubric to the kids ( Swift ) . ” Not merely is this sentence ironic it is besides filled with cognition. First of wholly, it shows the landlords ‘ inhuman treatment and greed. Swift ‘s usage of sarcasm plants good and in bend notifies his audience that the landlords of that clip were populating in a life of luxury and wealths, ever trailing something sole and rare. Furthermore this indirect irony shows us that landlords ‘ did non care whether they pursued what they want in an ethical manner or non, nor were they compassionate about how difficult the destitute people made a life. Swift ‘s usage of indirect irony does the occupation in acquiring a message across, that landlords had already exploited the hapless. Along with this, throughout Swift ‘s proposal he ne’er mentions what is to be done with the kids of the affluent category. In short, the message that he is seeking to direct out by non including the kids of the affluent category is that they serve a intent in the promotion of Ireland, while the kids of the needy are nil more than a load to the state. It is pretty simple for any reader to do out that Swift ‘s intended audience was the upper-class who was at a literate phase unlike the hapless at that clip who were unable to do what Swift truly wanted to show in his “ proposal. ”

The adept sarcasm that Swift employs throughout the proposal is most notably clear in the justifications of his statements. Close to the beginning of the text, Swift clarifies that “ it is agreed by all parties ” that the overpopulation of kids is an issue that is “ a really great extra grudge ” to the current “ distressing province ” of Ireland. He farther provinces: “ aˆ¦and hence whoever could happen out a just, inexpensive, and easy method of doing these kids sound, utile members of the commonwealth would merit so good of the populace as to hold his statue set up for a refinisher of the state ( Swift ) . ” Swift ‘s usage of irony and sarcasm here is used good to exposes the absence of morality bing in a society that values wealth instead than the public assistance of its citizens.

In seting down the footing for his proposal, Swift puts forth the benefits for all: “ But my purpose is really far from being confined to supply merely for the kids of professed mendicants ; it is of a much greater extent, and shall take in the whole figure of babies at a certain age, who are born of parents in consequence as small able to back up them as those who demand our charity in the streets ( Swift ) . ” Swift carries on utilizing intolerable item, suggesting planning for banqueting, the proper sum of dinner invitees the young person will nurture, and the disbursal of such a repast. All the piece this dark proposal is laid out logically. Jonathan Swift smartly aims at the uncompassionate English landlords when he talks about the disbursal of the nutrient, and precisely how it is merely since “ as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to hold the best rubric to the kids. ” His usage of item deliberately removes the reader from the proposed solution to expose the instances of how the pattern of cannibalism has functioned in other topographic points, merely in a satiric effort to demo his audience that this is n’t the right manner to break the metropolis of Dublin.

Many ironists tend to utilize a mark to assail which will catch their audience ( s ) attending. In this instance, Swift is cagey plenty to utilize hapless kids as the alleged “ mark ” of his proposal. It is obvious that Swift does n’t experience that people should turn to a cannibalistic pattern of eating kids. It is clear that he believes that kids are the hereafter, and if they are consumed there ‘ll be no hereafter. He is besides seeking to explicate that the people of Ireland need to come up with a solution to break the state of affairs, if non they might every bit good turn to cannibalism and eat their kids ( metaphor ) . This brings about another point that Swift makes in doing this statement. Ironically he mentions, “ aˆ¦oh, do n’t even believe about proposing ten or Y ” when x and y are sensible solutions that could work ( Swift ) . ” Swift says this because of the defeat he has with the populace, because he had been working for betterment for a good piece, promoting thoughts that no 1 wage attending to, so now that he has come up with this “ modest proposal ” and stunned people in order to acquire their attending, he laughs at the fact that they ‘ve by no agencies taken serious or listened to his earlier proposals.

Another technique which Swift uses to acquire across his message in his essay is that he merely mentions the benefits of the rich and non the hapless if the program where to be initiated it. Swift provinces that “ aˆ¦the money will go around among our egos, the goods being wholly of our ain growing and industry ( Swift ) . ” Here we find Fleet seeking to carry his readers to believe that he was non seeking to ache the people of his state, but was merely trying to do his fellow friends even richer. This is another illustration of the sarcasm and irony that Jonathan Swift uses to both deceive the reader and carry him into to believing that Swift really wants what is best for the people of the upper-class so the hapless.

Jonathan Swift non merely shows to be honest but confident and relentless in his recommended proposal. Swift is so self-asserting, that he jokingly utters “ I can believe of no 1 expostulation that will perchance be raised against this proposal ( Swift ) . ” It is obvious that there are several grounds why his program would work and how it would break the state at manus and its people. As good pulling his motivations for anticipating a successful scheme, Swift has several nameless associates that he uses in his proposal in order to back up his instance and its possible successes by saying that they agree with the drawn program. Swift ‘s usage of grounds non merely reinforces his statement but makes this satirical peace believable and executable to those who are unable to read between the lines and gaining control the impression that Swift is truly saying. The impression that since the upper-class of society positions the impoverished as a nuisance, they might ironically prefer bend to cannibalism to acquire rid of the job at manus and in bend make it a beneficiary for all, so to really seek assisting those who need their aid in order to stay in being.

Analyzing the terminal of Swift ‘s proposal it must be understood that Swift ‘s proposal is non one to be taken earnestly. This great usage of sarcasm is clearly displayed at the shutting of the proposal ; Swift notifies his reader ( s ) that this program will non hold any impact him since his kids do non measure up do to their age and besides because his married woman has reached the age where she is unable to hold any more kids ( Swift ) . One has to see that it would be rather silly to believe that a reasonable adult male would desire to both be involved in the pattern of cannibalism and even suggest this type of solution to repair the crisis at manus.

Without a uncertainty the sarcasm exercised in Jonathan ‘s Swift ‘s “ Modest Proposal ” is humor at its finest. The dry hyperboles and sarcastic comparings, followed by clever linguistic communication, add a permanent consequence to his composing that marks itself upon the ideas of those who read his proposal in a manner that can non be forgotten.


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