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

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

Extracts from this document...


A 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. It outlines the dreadful way in which Catholics were treated by the protestant minority in Ireland during these times. During the time Swift wrote this piece of prose, a series of laws called the 'Penal Laws' excluded Catholics from society. They made it illegal for them to own any land and if they made a profit of more than a third of their rent, they could face eviction. They lived in absolute poverty and had no human rights. Swift may have written this text for innumerable reasons but one can suggest that there were three main points: (1) to cause outrage and shock in order to get the author, Swift, much attention, (2) to draw attention to the government's refusal to do anything about child poverty and (3) ...read more.


The next criticism is in the fourth paragraph 'supported by her milk for a solar year with little other nourishment.' This could suggest that there is not enough food for Catholics, so they have to feed the babies on just their mothers milk, however, this quotation could just show that babies can survive on just their mothers milk so it could be a statement of fact. The next criticism can also be found in the fourth paragraph, 'wanting food and raiment for the rest of their lives.' This can be connected with paragraph one as this may mean that the catholic children would be begging for food and clothing for the rest of their lives unless something is done about it. Another criticism can be found in paragraph six, 'able to maintain their own children, although I apprehend that there cannot be so many'. This may appear to some readers that the author is writing about the poor state of Catholics and that they are so poor, that cannot ...read more.


Swift also uses a large amount of shock tactics, par se, paragraph fifteen, 'will make admirable gloves for ladies' Though it may seem true, Swift does not actually mean to eat the children of Catholics. By suggesting such a hideous and shocking proposal, he would have gained much attention and reveal the way in which Protestants were treating the Catholic majority. Overall, it can be said that this pamphlet was very successful in trying to eliminate racism toward the Catholics but this prejudice can still be seen today between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland and parts of Scotland. It is also a great example to show how satire has changed very little throughout the centuries, for example, 'The Office' is set out very much in the same way as A Modest Proposal. The same techniques can be applied (Irony ect) and some of the same subjects can still apply such as government and other races of people but most of all, this pamphlet shows the reader just how effective using satire is to get the author's point across successfully. Simon Garlinge Pre 1914 prose coursework first draft ...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. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift How does Swift attempt to make his ...

    He is putting the country down by writing about the streets swarmed with beggars. This tells the reader that he doesn't like where the country is going as in poverty and homeless people. He is very blas� when mentioning the beggar's children as if they don't care about them and can't even keep track of their offspring.

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

    What is truly ironic though is the fact that Swift makes such exemplary use of sarcasm and irony in his writing that when the piece was published, many people actually believed that Swift was being serious, and there was confusion and uproar throughout Ireland.

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

    Swift uses the King's response to make his point even clearer; this allows Swift to show his disgust of British society without stating that he himself said it; this offended many people. Another aspect of British society which Swift was very interested in was the physical human body and its functions.

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

    carefully wired in her false teeth is ridiculing her and because he compares her to an artist when in fact she is making herself seem less repulsive than she already is: "Stuck on with art on either side, Untwists a wire; and from her gums a set of teeth completely comes."

  1. "A Modest Proposal"

    He invites the audience to share his views by showing that he is aware of the problem and he is aware that this problem is a concern to all people and that everyone will be affected if they will not find the solution.

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

    Swift uses emotive language to remind the reader of the difficulty the peasants have to face. An example of this is 'are forced to employ all their time in Stroling, to beg'. Here, Swift makes us feel sorry for the peasants, and begin to understand how hard their lives are.

  1. In a Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift, the main objective was to draw attention ...

    He demonstrates there is a serious problem with a great need for a solution. He then suggests a solution and then lists a whole list of advantages. His proposal of eating the Irish babies is followed by advantages such as "by the sale of their children, [the parents would] be

  2. An Analysis of Swift's "A Modest Proposal"

    He goes on to elaborate on his proposal, explaining the age range and sex of the children which will be sold and the methods of making them more profitable. His persona stops at nothing to increase the profits and to save money.

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