RESPOND WITH AT LEAST 150 WORDS EACH POST…WRITE AS IF YOU ARE SPEAKING TO THE STUDENT…CITE ANY REFERENCES
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This piece of literature took me by surprise to say the least. I was wrapped up in understanding the problems arising in Ireland at the time and was eager to hear the proposal by Swift. Although I knew it would probably not be a true “modest” one per the introduction given by Dr. Paquette, I was not expecting the type of satire provided in this piece! As absurd as an idea as it was, I did appreciate the factual and well thought out idea of it all. If the subject would not have been about children being consumed when they reached 12 months of age, I would have found it a sincere proposal and would have actually agreed with it. I liked that he went from serious and factual to being just as absurd as the idea itself when he would share things like “I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust” (Swift 2).
He was able to provide his point of view on the current economy and the crazy morals that some of the upper class have all while poking fun at those that would actually consider something irrational just to change the status of the country and the poor to have an easier life. Because of this I think it was very beneficial in proving his point. In fact, I don’t think you could have missed the point after reading this!
Yes, I think satire is used frequently today but maybe just not to the extent as it was historically and how it was used by Swift. I think the most popular way it is used today is by late night show hosts and the Saturday Night Live (SNL) Weekend Update anchors. Currently, Colin Jost and Michael Che are the SNL anchors that tackle sensitive topics by poking fun and critiquing those the topic is on but doing all of it with pointed humor that usually makes you feel uncomfortable afterwards. They successfully make their point in providing the point of view of the ridiculous side of politics, religions, countries, movie stars, and the list goes on and on.
Swift, Jonathan. A Modest Proposal. The Project Guenberg, 2008.
A Modest Proposal
“A modest proposal” can be described as a gastronomical piece of satire. For instance, to get his point across, he suggested that people should eat their own young ones. Swift claims that one-year-old kids are such delicious whether boiled, baked or roasted (…” a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled”), which in my opinion is absurd and horrifying.
His ideas that the people of Ireland should eat their children is presented in its extreme form, and therefore it is depicting the overall irony of Swift. As a way of attracting the readers to approve his point, he presents false statements when describing the status of poverty in Ireland. Through the use of satire, he tries to present the view that if the children are eaten, Ireland will have few Catholics to deal with. His writing appears to be mostly sarcasm and damaging to the image of the religion in Ireland; He wrote his work in a voice of narrow-minded, spiritual English Protestant with an intention to mock the condition of religion in Ireland.
In a negative way, Swift obviously expressed the view that the Irish Catholics are the enemies of the state. He also argued that the religious ideas of Irish Catholics at the time were foolish and destructive and therefore deserves to be ridiculed.
In today’s world, satire is regarded as an attractive way of informing the audience and debating of ideas. It helps present different ideas in a different light, which force us to reflect more and reconsider changing our way of thinking. For instance, Steward and Colbert are regarded as the masters of political satire where they particularly reflect on the falseness of cruel ideas such as moral virtue and ultra-nationalism. Satire is mostly used in media in form of a cartoon and in spoken word.
Swift, J. (2012). A modest proposal and other satirical works. Courier Corporation.