Mock Epic (High Burlesque): Treats a silly/unimportant issue as if it is serious. • Alexander Pope’s poem “The Rape of the Lock” Travesty (Low Burlesque): A work that treats a serious issue in a ridiculous way. Often uses a mock-serious tone. • Jonathan Swift’s essay “A Modest Proposal”
Prose (not poetry) that pokes fun at the flaws and shortcomings of human beings and institutions. • Attempts to persuade readers that some issue must be fixed.
Understatement: presenting something as less important than it actually is • Ex: Very sick friend in hospital When you ask how he’s feeling, he responds, “Well, I’ve been better.” Exaggeration (Hyperbole): presenting something as greater than it actually is • Ex: His feet were as big as a giant’s. He kept falling. Sarcasm: mocking or using irony, usually describing the opposite of what you mean
1667-1745 Poor; father died; went to live with uncle Born in Ireland, educated in England Opposed the English government’s poor treatment of the Irish wrote about it
Ireland very poor, governed by English • Working class = Roman Catholic Irish farmers • Upper class = Protestant English landowners • Landowners charged the workers very high rates to be able to work their land • Farmers had no choice, needed the job • Led to starvation, homelessness • Past Cannibalism
Satiricalessay Discusses Ireland’s poverty problem which leads to overpopulation, starvation, and homelessness Serious issue, presents ridiculous solution • Published anonymously some people actually thought the narrator was serious in his proposal
Moderate or limited in size, quantity, or range; not extreme: a modest price; a newspaper with a modest circulation.-Swift is being ironic/sarcastic: his proposal WILL be extreme…but he will be pretending like it’s a real solution
“It is a melancholy object to those who walk through thisgreat town or travel in the country, when they see thestreets, the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with beggarsof the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, allin rags and importuning every passenger for an alms.These mothers, instead of being able to work for theirhonest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time instrolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants: whoas they grow up either turn thieves for want of work, orleave their dear native country to fight for the Pretender inSpain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.” Situation?
“I think it is agreed by all parties that thisprodigious number of children in the arms, or on thebacks, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequentlyof their fathers, is in the present deplorable state ofthe kingdom a very great additional grievance; and,therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, andeasy method of making these children sound, usefulmembers of the commonwealth, would deserve sowell of the public as to have his statue set up for apreserver of the nation.” What to do?
“But my intention is very far from beingconfined to provide only for the children ofprofessed beggars; it is of a much greaterextent, and shall take in the whole number ofinfants at a certain age who are born of parentsin effect as little able to support them as thosewho demand our charity in the streets.” Who will it help?
“…a child just dropped from its dam may be supportedby her milk for a solar year, with little other nourishment;at most not above the value of 2 shillings, which themother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by herlawful occupation of begging; and it is exactly at oneyear old that I propose to provide for them in such amanner as instead of being a charge upon their parentsor the parish, or wanting food and raiment for the rest oftheir lives, they shall on the contrary contribute to thefeeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands.” Solution, Part 1?
“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 fricassee or a ragout.” Solution, Part 2?
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