Post and Respond: You must post before you can see other students’ posts. Please double space your answers.
Post: Answer all six questions in your post, which should be in paragraph format and not numbered.
Respond. Respond to one student’s post and discuss whether you agree (or not), explaining why.
1. “A Modest Proposal” is an ironic essay: the author deliberately writes what he does not mean. What is the real thesis? Is there more than one?
2. A clear difference exists between Swift and the persona who makes this proposal. Characterize the proposer.
3. Look up the definitions of satire and irony. Explain the difference here.
4. Look closely at paragraphs 4, 6, and 7, and study how the appeals to logic are put in mathematical and economic terms. Discuss these paragraphs here and explain how they appeal to logic.
5. When does the reader begin to realize that the essay is ironic? Before or after the actual proposal is made in paragraph 10?
6. Which groups of people are singled out as special targets for Swifts’ attack? Are the Irish presented completely as victims, or are they also to blame?
7. Does Swift ever present any serious proposals for improving conditions in his argument? If so, where?
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