• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In a Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift, the main objective was to draw attention to the plight of the Irish people and motiva

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In a Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift, the main objective was to draw attention to the downfall of the Irish people and motivate readers to find a workable solution. Unlike most essays, this is written for the reader to see through what the narrator is expressing. Swift shows the readers his proposal mainly through irony. Irony can be defined as expressing the opposite of what is meant. This is a great technique of the sense of humor and sarcasm used in the proposal and in Swift. One of the voices that are present throughout the story is that of irony. The story itself is ironic since no one can take Swift's proposal seriously. This irony is clearly demonstrated at the end of the story; Swift makes it clear that this proposal would not affect him since his children were grown and his wife unable to have any more children. It is a great contradiction and absurdity that a husband and father propose the idea of cannibalism. The narrator does not want the reader to agree that the solution to overpopulation and poverty in Ireland is to eat babies; he wants the reader to see there needs to be a practical solution. ...read more.

Middle

"I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the kitchen" is a quote that shows a prime example of Swift's sarcasm. This line is trying to show the upper-class that since good living conditions have not been provided for people to live in and the children that are born of this poverty stricken people will only live to be as poor, or worse, than their parents. This line also suggests that the children will be very expensive if the upper-class chooses to buy them, which in a way is getting back at the upper class and rulers for neglecting the homeless and poverty stricken. Towards the end of Swift's essay, the reader begins to see his true ulterior motives behind writing such an inhumane proposal. "Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the expedients, till he hath at least some glimpse of hope that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempts to put them in practice." This is a brilliant choice of words by Swift. ...read more.

Conclusion

For goodness sake, he asks parents in Ireland to eat their children for they are high in nutrition and by eating them, the parents will help hinder the threat of overpopulation. It appears to be gruesome and make a mockery of the Irish people. Only until we dig deeper into the satirical piece to see that Swift was trying to convey the starvation and oppression of the Irish people by writing the piece in an English publication. Swift's humorous outlook is really an expression of disgust to the circumstances that surrounded the Irish under a harsh toleration English rule. It took me too long to figure that out while reading this. It was until the third time I read it that I truly grasped every meaning that was meant for the readers. He successfully engages the reader through humor as well as a fascinating argument where he encourages the reader to agree with his argument. I enjoyed "A Modest Proposal" because it had elements that other satires I have read lacked, humor. Swift is successful at what he does because he does not tell the readers outright the conditions of the Irish people, but he weaves it skillfully into the essay, creating a fascinating, funny, and sharp essay. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jonathan Swift section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jonathan Swift essays

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

    sold 3 pounds and half a crown at the most in the exchange. Also swift suggests that nursing a beggars child would cost about 2 shillings, per annum with rags and cloths all inclusive.

  2. What are the Objects of Swift's Satire in 'Gulliver's Travels' in the 'Voyages to ...

    The king tried to protest that the affairs of Britain during the last century were 'only a heap of conspiracies, rebellions, murders, massacres, banishments, faction, cruelty, rage, madness, hatred or ambition could produce.' All of these are negative points about England which clearly shows Swift's dislike of the country.

  1. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift How does Swift attempt to make his ...

    When it does reach that age then the baby can be sold to feed and clothe the 'many thousand' Irish rather than the child becoming a burden to its parents as they will not be able to feed them much longer.

  2. Discuss the similarities and differences in themes and ideas as shown in a modest ...

    Link explains that sometimes you have to do something illegal just to find a place to sleep. He also explains how thieves are desperate, they may even kill. "You might be spotted by a gang of larger louts on the lookout for someone to maim.

  1. Compare the Way in which John Donne and Swift present the women in their ...

    Swift instead of showing touches of heroic poetry just derides the woman with his mock heroic treatment of her. Throughout a large proportion of the poem he keeps on praising her skilfulness at assembling her self. The way in which he explains how she has put on her eyebrows and

  2. Discuss the ways in which Swift criticises his society in 'A Modest Proposal'.

    We also see this when he says, "particularly Weddings and Christenings." Here, the narrator suggests eating babies at Christenings, which is sickening and goes against any human feelings. He uses this to makes the reader aware that this problem is getting out of hand, and makes the reader realise that

  1. Swifts 'A Modest Proposal' is considered to be one of the most effective pieces ...

    It shows the cruelty and savage nature of human beings as a whole. In his writing Swift portrays England as being very aggressive and violent 'I could name a country which would gladly eat up our whole nation without it.'

  2. Explain the effect a 'Modest Proposal', by Jonathan Swift has on the reader, including ...

    This portrays that he dismisses ideas of other people, and whatever people may of though is now reversed around on them. He uses statistics to justify his ideas clearly 'I calculate there may be two hundred thousand people whose wives are breeders.'

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work