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‘The marginalised’ in ‘A Modest Proposal’ Essay

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The use of wit, sarcastic humour, irony, and ridicule to criticise and point out faults is used by the renowned author Jonathan Swift to once again, enthral the audience and readers with a proposal that is not so very modest. A Modest Proposal is considered by many to be one of the most well written and finest example of satire in world literature. His mere proposal for cannibalism as a method to bring justice and allow the citizens of Ireland at a time of depression, is insanely absurd however taking the persona of a well-intentioned economist and publishing it in the form of a pamphlet, the idea itself seems quite justifiable.

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Jonathan Swift uses the pamphlet as a way to exemplify and point out the problems that indeed harbour the entire country of Ireland. He assembles multiple points and facts which point out that Ireland is its own enemy. The dire poverty lingering in the streets and the position the families find themselves in are a significant example of this which is shown right from the start: “the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags and importuning every passenger for an alms.” He follows on by saying that the many number of children as well as the low income of the parents are indeed a huge problem for the people. There appears that nothing is being done at current to dissolve of the problem and the people find themselves at ends meet.

Jonathan then writes about a possible solution which may be classified in modern times as being down right bordering on the edge of insanity. He devises a method that may help the workers and labourers find a way to rid of their problems and live a better life. His method being; using the children and simply put, make them their breakfast, lunch, dinner and clothing. What better way to start then to point out and critically assess the problems lingering in the country and propose a solution which may be the end to all the their problems.

Multiple times mentioned throughout the pamphlet, brought out by sarcastic humour, papists as well as the English are put down by Jonathan suggesting that they are the cause to all their problems. His satire in turn becomes oblique and direct as he mentions that he “could name a country which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it.” His allusion to England and its people also directly assaults the English misuse of Ireland. The workers and those who have nothing are very well left with null as England holds all supremacy over the country and its land.

Jonathan points out at one point that there have been multiple sayings and solutions for the rampant condition of Ireland however, none have been taken into account and no action has been taken. He points out the number of ill people and those who cannot fend for themselves. His proposal comes into turn to annihilate the problems and treat those who have been treated with indifference and neglect with compassion and aid.

A Modest Proposal an absolutely horrid yet imaginative proposal is one of the worlds finest pieces of satire and use of parody, sarcastic humour and absolutely disgraceful mentions, is a text which is an eye opener to many. The hidden message under all the blood and guts convey the action is that we must do what we can do while we have the opportunity. Do not wait on the side and let everything pass by. Those that are unable to do anything can thrive and those that work, beg or slave away of the street can be the beginning of a new age. A Modest Proposal deemed a masterpiece and as stunning example of the satirist’s art.

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