Satire “a Modest Proposal”

764 Words4 Pages
Satire is a literary work in which the follies of its subject are attacked through irony, derision, or wit, usually to fulfill a corrective purpose. Those who satirize are called satirist’s. Satire is an art, and while making a point, it should do it in such a way that the reader doesn’t feel assaulted, or moralized. Swift does this by sarcastically proposing to the people that by selling the children of the poor and beggars to the wealthier families, as this will provide clothing, food, and will decrease the population of the kingdom. At this time in Ireland, there was extreme poverty and a gap between the poor and the rich, the tenements and the landlords. Throughout the story Swift uses detail’s on how they should go about eating the children, “......that a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food; whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled, and I make no doubt, that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or ragout.” And treating them as nothing more than a new type of animal. The story ends with a completely different tone when the author explains the absurdness of his proposal and instead he suggests something a bit more realistic like the wealthy giving up some of their luxuries. In A Modest Proposal the author, Jonathan Swift, uses satire to mock the Irish government of his time. Swift begins the story by explaining that the population of children is exceptionally large and does not help the appalling state of their nation. “ would greatly lessen the number of papists, with whom we are yearly overrun, being the principal breeders of the nation as well as our dangerous enemies ...” By stating this he is not yet mocking the government, only giving facts that will back up his outlandish proposal later on. He then says that the excess amount of children must find a way to help their nation and be
Open Document