I to be a junior in High School once I was very first introduced come satire. I had been expert in sarcasm for part time, yet it remained in my AP English course that I an initial became very, really confused.

You are watching: How is satire used in a modest proposal


We were instructed to come right into the class, sit at our desks, and also read the paper on our workdesks without speak to one another. This wasn’t abnormal, as our teacher often conducted weird course experiments. There on our workdesks was a thick packet through the cover page facing up, “A usually Proposal” by Jonathan Swift.

A modest Proposal: The Perfect Example of Satire

For those of you who have actually not review this piece, you must. (I uncovered a free version virtual here.)

While the class read through it, top turned and also concerned eye met from students roughly the room. Ns remember rolling my eyes at a friend muttering just how crazy ours teacher was. (I had actually no idea why us were analysis this or what the meant.)

Swift’s, “A modest Proposal” outlines the solution for the scarcity in Ireland in the early 1700’s. The equipment proposed by Swift is that bad families should sell their newborn babies to rich family members to eat. He defines how reasonable it would certainly be for negative families to make money, have actually less youngsters to feed, and also for rich households to have actually a high quality protein source. Swift is as kind regarding include different ways and also suggested recipes for food preparation these babies.

When us finished reading our teacher asked united state what we thought of the piece. Students started commenting, “What is this?”, “Is this real?”, and then “Hey, doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.”

Before we gained too much into our heated debate, our teacher introduced that this to be satire. Us still smiled blankly, yet he finally started to explain the concept.

The an interpretation of Satire

Here is the definition of satire according to Google:

The usage of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of modern politics and also other object issues.

In this case, Swift offered satire as a way to to express the worry of poor in Ireland and to mock the rich’s view towards the negative during the famine.

To it is in clear, Swift is not saying that eating children is a reasonable systems to the problem, rather he is demonstrating the heartless and cruel mindset of the rich, while pointing out the concerns he sees through the ireland government.

Want to create Satire?

Me too. Look at fun, and you get to do ridiculous arguments. Right here are two techniques and tips come write an excellent satire.

1. Usage a Serious Tone

In “A usual Proposal” Swift offers an intense, severe tone transparent the whole piece. One of the most necessary things around using ton is that we make sure we select the correct ton to convey the blog post we for this reason desire.

In satire, most commonly, the most efficient tone to usage is the serious tone. This is because the major tone create this confusion within the reader, just like my junior class was perplexed the very first time we review satire. If the writer was using joking language, us would recognize that this wasn’t real and shed interest, but since of the intense serious language, us couldn’t protect against talking around it.

Be definitive. Say crazy things. Provide detail. Eat babies. (Just kidding, don’t do that.)

2. Use sustained Irony

Irony is saying one thing, while an interpretation the other, or in situations when the result is contradictory to what is expected. “A modest Proposal” is frequently hailed as among the greatest examples of sustained irony in the English language. Swift accomplishes this by beginning the piece highlighting the trouble of starving families in Ireland, and also then proposing his solution.

A young healthy and balanced child fine nursed, is, at a year old, a many delicious nourishing and wholesome food, even if it is stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and also I make no doubt the it will certainly equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.”

How’s that for irony?

Where You deserve to Read Satire

If you desire to create satire, one of my greatest tips is the you check out satire. Satire is a different method of thinking, and in bespeak to know it much better and write it better, friend must become acquainted with it’s style, prose, and voice.

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Check the end a few of this satirical sites:

Do you reap satire? have you ever before written it? Let us understand in the comments section.

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Take fifteen minutes and also practice writing some satire! select a renowned subject and also make her point. Don’t forget to use irony and tone! Make sure you re-superstructure your practice in the comments below!