Introduction to Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal

Introduction to Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal

Introduction to Jonathan Swifts A Modest Proposal Art & Society Quote And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And

help to change it. Ernst Fischer (18991972) What does this quote mean? Discuss in your groups. Opening Others Eyes What if you had good ideas for solving a terrible social problem, but no one

would listen to you? What would you do to get people to listen to you? Make a list of at least 3 things youd do to get peoples attention about the issue. The Social Issue Swift Brought Attention to Jonathan Swift faced such a situation in the late 1720s, when starvation was widespread in Ireland. Irish harvests (crops) had been poor for years.

Farmers couldnt pay the rents demanded by their English landlords. Beggars and starving children filled the streets. Englands governmental policies kept the Irish poor Why Swift Responded Appalled by the misery in Ireland, Jonathan Swift set out to make the English more responsive to their neighbors suffering.

Meaning, he wanted the English to understand what the Irish people were going through He wrote a pamphleta shocking satire that offered an outrageous solution to the problem of famine. Literary Focus: Verbal Irony Verbal irony occurs when a writer or speaker says one thing but really means something quite differentusually the

exact opposite. EXAMPLE: Writers cannot depend You overslept, forgot to feed the dog, on tone of voice to and are coming down with a bad cold. Someone asks you how youre doing,

convey (show) sarcasm, and you respond, Just great. I wish every day could be just like this one. so they often use irony You have just used verbal irony. to make their point. Literary Focus: Verbal Irony (continued)

The irony in Swifts essay begins with the title: A Modest Proposal. Here the word modest means not bold; limited in size, amount, or scope. Youll find that Swifts proposal is anything but modest. To the contrary, it is outrageous and extreme to the point of absurdity, or silliness. Reading Skills: Recognizing Persuasive Techniques

A Modest Proposal is a classic example of persuasive writing used for the purpose of satire. Watch for these persuasive techniques: Logical appeals use evidence such as facts or statistics to support a position. Emotional appeals use words that arouse strong feelings. Ethical appeals establish the writers sincerity and qualifications.

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