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GCSE: Jonathan Swift

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  1. How effective is 'Modest Proposal' by Jonathon Swift

    Jonathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' is a satirical essay that disregards all humanity and morality for the sake of economic gain. In description, swift writes the proposal as a satire. A satire meaning when someone is making fun about something but in all of that is hiding some serious issue. In satire, sarcastic words are used to help show the reader ideas about problems and try to solve them. Sarcastic words are used in satire to build readers attention, and make issues interesting.

    • Word count: 1399
  2. Reading of 'A Modest Proposal' concentrating on how Swift criticised the society in which he lived. A Modest Proposal is a satirical pamphlet written by Jonathon Swift in 1729

    to draw attention to the government's refusal to do anything about child poverty and (3) to draw attention to the plight of the poor by showing that his proposal was no more monstrous than the situation that already existed. The text works by combining many elements of literary techniques, such as irony, shock tactics and moral pronouncements, in order to create the maximum response possible from the reader- shock. It can be suggested that this shock was hoped to achieve anger throughout the protestant communities and maybe to cause some civil unrest until something was done about it.

    • Word count: 1004
  3. Gulliver's Travels is a fine example of a satire in that there is bite in Swifts attacks on human behaviour and yet there is much to entertain and amuse, Discuss

    Swift does this many times, but he is also using to his advantage as an author. As he is putting across his views he is also pleasing both his younger audience and older by covering up the criticisms of the books times with an exhilarating fantasy story. An example of his humorous technique is when the inhabitants of Liliput are shown to select their politicians by seeing who is superior on a tight rope. The politicians are chosen by seeing who can jump the highest on a tight rope suspended two feet off the ground: Five or six of those

    • Word count: 1132
  4. Discuss the ways in which Swift criticises his society in 'A Modest Proposal'.

    We also see his disapproval towards the peasants because they are ruining everything. The first part of the pamphlet sounds like a normal, interesting idea discussing how to make these children useful to society, which makes the reader curious about what the narrator is talking about. The narrator is there to draw the reader in, and because the reader has related to the narrator; because the reader is a high class, wealthy Protestant like the narrator, the reader feels guilty at what rich people like themselves have done to the poor.

    • Word count: 1463
  5. Swifts 'A Modest Proposal' is considered to be one of the most effective pieces of satirical writing ever published. Discuss this statement in relation to the text.

    The more irony and sarcasm a writer uses, the greater the effect his writing has upon the audience. A Modest Proposal can therefore be considered as an idyllic piece of satirical writing, as Swift maintains his sarcastic and ironic views, from the title to the very last sentence. His proposal of eating children is rather an extreme one, but he calls it a modest proposal to enhance his sarcasm. The reason Swift comes up with this proposal is to solve the food and money shortage throughout the kingdom of Ireland. But what it really sets out to do is to make a mockery of people in those days.

    • Word count: 1030
  6. Gulliver in Brobdingnag.

    Odysseus in the cave of Cyclops would provide the best example. There are, no doubt, many who would argue that this incident in the Odyssey is not meant as humor. May we not at least wonder, however, if some of Homer's audiences didn't chuckle when they heard about how the "subtle" Odysseus outwitted the giant? It will be argued in the following that Swift's intention throughout Part II as a whole is comic irony, and that the passage to be analyzed typifies the situation in which Gulliver finds himself when surrounded by giants.

    • Word count: 1045
  7. Explain the effect a 'Modest Proposal', by Jonathan Swift has on the reader, including its power to shock.

    Jonathan Swift writes his 'A Modest proposal' pamphlet in a satirical style. It must clearly be understood that Swift's ideas aren't those of entire truth; his points are there to be persuasive in a satirical manner. 'A Modest Proposal' is straight forward and rational-but his matter of fact style makes it more shocking. He explains and justifies his ideas very clearly and dismisses other people's opinions: 'maturely weighed the several schemes of other projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in the computation.'

    • Word count: 1172
  8. Discuss the similarities and differences in themes and ideas as shown in a modest proposal and stone cold.

    My work reflects this belief." This clearly reflects the belief Swindells had after writing his book. The experiences he had were so horrendous that any human would not be able to survive them. Swindells was angry because the Conservative government of the time did not seem to care about the homeless. One MP complained saying that it's terrible having to step over homeless while he was walking to the opera. Swift wrote his pamphlet as he was concerned about the social and political system of that time; the age of reason. Swift at the age of 27 became a clergy man in Dublin and wrote about politics and religion.

    • Word count: 1555
  9. Discuss the similarities and differences in themes and ideas as shown in Stone Cold and Modest Proposal.

    It was written in 1729 by Jonathan Swift. Swift was often known by people as a brilliant and witty writer. His other works were also very good. Some of his works include Gullivers Travels and the Battle of the Books. Although his books were very good, they sometimes had strange storylines. This made the public think that he was on the brink of insanity. As he got older this became a reality and this caused his death in 1745. The satire A Modest Proposal is also about homelessness.

    • Word count: 1069
  10. Discuss the ways in which Jonathon Swift and George Orwell create a sense of disgust in the reader in 'Gulliver's Travels', 'A Modest Proposal' and 'How The Poor Die'. Whose approach do you find more effective and why.

    Orwell tugs at the emotions of his readers by discussing how people were 'dying among strangers'. Statements like that horrify the reader, but in a different manner to Swift's more basic descriptions of bodily functions, as can be seen when Gulliver visits Lilliput. Swift disgusts the reader causing them to be outraged and recoil in horror. Orwell however, uses more subtlety and the effect is that the reader feels pity and empathises with the poor patients in this hospital. In 'A Modest Proposal', Swift gains his readers' trust and interest by beginning with the ironic title then shocking them with his vile idea.

    • Word count: 1381
  11. How Gulliver's Travels Satirises the Politics of Swift's Time.

    them about the glories of England; to Laput and its neighbour Lagado, populated by dishonest philosophers and scientists; and to the land of Houhynhnms, a land ruled by rational- thinking horses. This satire reveals many faults in society. First of all, Gulliver symbolizes the citizens of England: gullible, eager to please, and proud. Another satire is England?s government in part I which is symbolized by the Lilliputians and all their flaws. Also, Swift satirizes England's government in Part III where the floating island symbolizes how England never interacts with people but instead deals out punishments and laws without considering the people.

    • Word count: 1663

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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