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Personal Response to "A Modest Proposal"

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Personal Response to A Modest Proposal James Keats ________________ In the essay A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, tones of both Irony and Sarcasm are used to open the reader up to Swift?s underlying statement. The subtle, and unsubtle, uses of sarcasm and irony alike make the reader think back on some of things they have already read in the essay, and possibly have a new perspective on what Swift could possibly mean. Swift?s use of Irony in this essay was to make sure that nothing Swift says in the essay can be taken literally. This doesn?t just let the reader know that Swift has no actual plans of eating dead children, it also makes the reader look for alternative meanings to what Swift is literally saying. It opens up the reader?s mind to other possible interpretations. The fact that it would be absolutely absurd to believe a rational human being would want to partake in the slaughter and consumption of another human being makes sure that before anyone analyses the text they know it?s completely fictitious. ...read more.


In the first paragraph he says ?It is a melancholy sight to see? when they see the streets? crowded with beggars.? After an initial read-through, the reader would most likely think that what Swift is trying to say is obviously that beggars filling up the streets is so melancholy to see, because no one should have to live the terrible life of a beggar. Swift later says ?it is very well known that they are dying, and rotting, by cold and famine, and filth, and vermin? they cannot get work and consequently pine away for want of nourish.? This quotation outlines his distaste for the beggars and the poor of his country. It makes the reader ask themselves whether he believes it sad that the beggars are in such a poor condition, or if he finds it depressing that people of his social status have to deal with these lesser citizens. This specific use of sarcasm not only opens readers up to Swift?s actual statement, but also makes readers realize that perhaps not everything Swift says in the essay is something he actually means. ...read more.


What better way is there to eliminate the poor, than by killing the entire next generation? If this proposal were to go through, 60 years from now, all of the sudden the beggars would be and extinct species. Once we see that Swift wants to eliminate the beggars, we can use further proof from the text to back this up. He is suggesting this proposal as a way for the poor to come out of their troubles successfully, yet when he speaks of the benefits wrought from the killing, and consuming of only the poor children he never mentions the poor. He writes about the upper-class buying the dead children for food, and also to make, ?admirable gloves for ladies summer boots for gentlemen.? And when he does his ?calculations? of how many children would be for sale, he doesn?t take into account the children from the upper-class, just the children of the beggars. Swift makes his message clear that he has no interest in saving the lower-class, but rather he sees a useful way of getting rid of them, and helping the upper-class even more. ...read more.

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