In his lengthy literary career, Jonathan Swift wrote many stories that used a broad range of voices that were used to make some compelling personal statements. For example, Swifts, A Modest Proposal, is often heralded as his best use of both sarcasm and irony. In 1729, Jonathon Swift published one of the most controversial writings of all time, "A Modest Proposal". This work has a stream of literary techniques, including satire, irony, and criticism. At a time when Ireland, was poverty stricken, someone had to accept blame. Because Ireland was a colony of the British, Swift felt they were responsible.
The people of Ireland were starving and dying, yet no one seemed to notice or care. Swift's modest proposal suggested Irish poverty could be solved by the sale of the children of the poor for consumption. This way, no one would be hungry, and Swift assured that children were the finest of cuisine. "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". Of course Swift was not serious when he wrote the piece. Swift is simply pointing out shortcomings by using sarcasm and irony, to much avail I might add.
The passage is also about criticism. Swift goes to great lengths to imply the British government is greedy, hypocritical and insensitive. I found "A Modest Proposal" to be one of the most enlighten works I have read in quite some time. To come up with a plan to kill all children to help the poor was a plan masterminded by Swift him self.
I think my favorite part was: "Fifthly, This food would likewise bring great custom to taverns; where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best receipts for dressing it to perfection, and consequently have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating: and a skilful cook, who understands how to oblige his guests, will contrive to make it as expensive as they please". Because, he is saying how it will become a tradition. It is just funny to me that it was bad enough to even suggest this proposal in the first place, but then to go that extra step, taking it to a tradition. "desire those politicians who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold as to attempt an answer, that they will first ask the parents of these mortals, whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been sold for food, at a year old in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes as they have since gone through by the oppression of landlords, the impossibility of paying rent without money or trade, the want of common sustenance, with neither house nor clothes to cover them from the inclemencies of the weather, and the most inevitable prospect of entailing the like or greater miseries upon their breed for ever". Thank you Mr. Swift.