Cannibalism In A Modest Proposal

1179 Words5 Pages
Candace Johnson Justin Yates Eng 117 1 Feb., 2012 Cannibalism: The act of consuming the flesh of babies; exactly what is recommended as a delicacy to the upper class in the satirical essay, “A Modest Proposal.” Jonathon Swift, the author of “A Modest Proposal,” clearly suggests cannibalism, what first seems to be an unrealistic way to fight poverty. In his essay, Swift proposes for his homeland, Ireland, to become economically independent ultimately resolved by marketing infants who come from poverty-stricken families. With the intent to ridicule Ireland’s politicians while also attempting to promote the countries’ development, Swift presents to his audience his frustration by shocking them with his heartless text. To better his argument,…show more content…
Swift’s repetitive creation of his extreme mental images, which appeal to one’s senses, gives the reader a false opinion about him, but subsequently becomes beneficial to his overall essay. The use of imagery in “A Modest Proposal” definitely is exceptionally vivid, and as a result, stirs up an emotional response in the reader (pathos). Swift’s intention to using imagery in his essay is to not only get dramatic reactions from his readers, but to also persuade them so much that they are agreeing with his point of view. In his essay, he offers many different descriptive images in which portray the dehumanization of children and women using words such as “breeders,” “flesh,” “carcass,” and “meat”(1026-1027). One of the disturbing images that Swift creates for his audience dehumanizes children by referring to them as pigs which would be roasted then worn as fancy gloves for females, and as boots for men. One type of imagery that Swift chose to portray in his writing was with the use of metaphors which illustrates a comparison such as a simile would do, but without the use of like or as. Swift metaphorically relates a newborn child being delivered from its mother to a colt “dropp[ing] from its dam,” which immediately causes the reader to psychologically create such an image (Swift 1026). Furthermore, the…show more content…
His continuous irony throughout “A Modest Proposal” allows him to indirectly present his proposition, which is mostly confusing until the reader becomes educated with his style of writing. By choosing to use irony so often in his essay, Swift is able to illustrate to his audience just how extreme Ireland’s poverty conditions have gotten. With his use of sarcasm, Swift creates the impression that he is truly sincere and sympathetic towards the poor families who are constantly begging, but behind his satirical intentions he is actually meaning the opposite. Frequently in his essay, he portrayed irony when describing his “modest” proposal, that the carcass of one year olds would be profitable. Swift emphasizes his proposal’s advantage of preventing abortions, then clearly conveys irony when he contradicts this benefit three paragraphs later by reassuring his audience that he has been informed a “well-nursed” child “…is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled…”(Swift 1026). It is very ironic that Swift’s proposal is primarily to help the Irish who live in poverty, yet his previous quote was definitely implied for Irish children. Additionally, Swift then proceeds with his sarcasm in paragraph twelve to clearly show his readers how the British

More about Cannibalism In A Modest Proposal

Open Document