A Not so Modest Proposal Essay

524 WordsApr 14, 20153 Pages
Bryan Lewis Mr. Smith British Literature 13 March 2015 A Modest Proposal of Morality The poem, A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift is a famous piece of British Literature. This poem is about the famine and the drought in Ireland and what can be done to help the people of Ireland get through the tough times. Swift uses irony and satire to show just how poorly the English were treating the Irish. Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal reveals the development of morality between the English and the Irish during the famine and drought. While the English had control over the island of Ireland, they never really cared about it and never did anything to help the people. Instead, the English let the people of Ireland suffer through famine and drought. This led the Irish to become angry with their rulers. Swift’s, A Modest Proposal compares the dehumanization of the Irish to that of the Irish having to sell and eat their children because times are so tough. The English abused their power over Ireland and totally neglected the citizens in which they had power over. Swift uses irony to prove that there is no real morality in the way that the English are treating the people of Ireland. He that he is just writing “a modest proposal” but what he is really writing is a plan to cook and eat children, “ A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish…” (Swift 568). Swift is showing how this can be seen as a reasonable plan when the English have left them with really no other options than to eat their young or to just starve. Swift uses his irony to show multiple things. Jonathan Swift also uses exaggeration and its counterpart of understating to prove his point in a number of ways. Exaggeration is used when Swift says that the only option the Irish have to survive the famine is

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