Essay 'A Modest Proposal' By Jonathan Swift

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Jonathan Swift, was a famous satirist and author of “Gulliver's Travels” who devoted most of his writing discussing the struggle between Ireland and England. Swift became famous in Ireland in the 1700’s for his depiction of the English government in a time where Ireland and England were not particularly friendly. In the essay “A Modest Proposal”, one of Swift’s more extreme, the idea of the Irish eating their children to survive is presented with a plainly satirical tone. Since the content of the essay is so absurd, it allows for Swift to hold an overly serious tone which adds to the hilarity of this piece. The essay builds a unique type of argument by using satire and allegory to establish tone and pathos, diction paired with tone to establish a relationship with his intended audience and comedy to discredit the people he is mocking and elevate his own…show more content…
The title, “A Modest Proposal”, reveals itself as satirical and comedic the moment Swift refers to children as a “most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food” considering that no person, (even in the 1700’s) would enjoy partaking in cannibalism. This immediately establishes his tone as sarcastic, mocking and over-exaggerated and the later paragraphs reveals the comparison to which he is referring when he makes such outlandish suggestions while “ having no other motive than the public good of my country” (Pg: 416) can refer to none other than English politicians during this time who maintain their stubborn ideas and belief that they are doing good. The satirical approach should make the reader laugh and not only allows for the tone to be built upon further, but establishes pathos. By creating an image that depicts the Irish as so desperate they need to eat their own children, it creates a subtle emotional response while still maintaining a satirical and comedic

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