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York University
EN 3193
Natalie Neill

JONATHAN SWIFT (1667-1745 - Englo Irish-English and Irish, born in Ireland - Anglican Protestant - wrote series of pamphlets on religious conflicts. - “A Tale of a Tub” 1704 far reaching satire - satirist trough religion - Swift was a Tory and targeted Whigs through satire - Swift target King George and Sir Robert Walpole - Scriblers Club-Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift,-Martinus Scribulus, beginning of disguising themselves through pseudonyms to save there asses from what they were discussing - After 1714-embroiled in promoting Ireland A MODEST PROPOSAL - Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick - Blaming the English of their treatment of the Irish - Parody of academic essays (the polemical essays-argumentative essays) proposal - Why did Swift use the proposal method? Performative writing (J.A. Austin) (meant to affect change) Bill-enacts a law - highlights English hypocrisy (falseness) - Ironic text to have the message sink in by reading in between the lines - Deals with a real problem in Ireland at the time: why is Ireland so poor? - Solution: LET’S EAT THE CHILDREN! - cold calculating persona to generate sympathy for the Irish - Proposal contradicts cruelty: prevent suffering by creating a different form of suffering - Grotesque literature-black humour - economic writing - conceit (extended metaphor) the English are “eating” the Irish (literal meaning in proposal) The Irish are also eating the poor Irish (destroying them, dehumanizing them, might as well eat them) Parody: “the imitative use of the words, style, attitude tone and ideas of an author in such a way as to make them ridiculous.” (J.A. Cuddon) An imitation of an earlier text or kind of text:
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