A Modest Proposal Defense Essay

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Smarmy Letter Dear Mr. Smarmy, Thank you for taking the time to address us about your concerns over Johnathan Swift’s A Modern Proposal. Indeed we understand your viewpoint and if we were not informed, we would have shared many of the same views! Please give us your time and continue to read this letter – we hope you will find it to be informative, and we also hope it will convince you of our reasons to keep this essay available in our system. Although Swift’s essay has caused many to become uneasy and possibly even a bit sick, but it was, in fact, his plan the entire time and he was very clever in use of irony and satire. Certainly you are not alone in being shocked and disgusted by Swift’s proposal! He states a plethora of atrocities such as how to cook children – babies! - (p. 803) and how they are best prepared. However, the reaction this evokes is exactly what Swift wants. He wanted to show his audience the desperation of the situation that Ireland, his home country, was put through. This was a result of the unfair treatment and neglect from Britain. Swift wanted the British to see the effects of their cruelty and what the extremely unfortunate predicament has caused the Irish to cook up as a solution! You got it – babies. Swift’s reliance on irony and satire were clever in writing his piece. Irony, as you well know, is a technique of indicating an intention opposite to what was actually stated. Satire is the use of irony, sarcasm, and ridicule to attack a shortcoming; in this case, the depravation of needs from Ireland. By making a mockery of the situation, Swift, in effect, is making a mockery of the cause of the situation – the British. Throughout this passage, he states horrors such as “I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.” (p. 916, LOC) and “Those who are more thrifty may flay

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