The Modest Proposal by Janathan Swift and Top of the food chain by T. Coraghessan Boyle are short stories written to make the reader realize how humans do absurd things which as a result have unexpected consequences. The following paragraphs will discuss how irony is used in both stories.
In the Modest proposal, the author speaks of a "modest proposal," to end the cruelty to the Irish from the English. The story is ironic because it is not modest but gruesome and disgusting. He proposes that people should start eating children on a daily basis. Swift gives six reasons for this and they state that by eating children, money would not be wasted on food, the number of Catholics would be reduced, it would be great inducement to marriages, there would be more food so the economy would increase, poor tenants would have money for their landlords, and it would be an improvement for the tavern business.
Swift even goes as far as to say that children between the ages of twelve to fourteen would not be good to eat because they are running around all day and their meat is tough. The narrator uses these atrocious details to make an impact on the reader and change his/her point of view on the cruelty to the Irish.
In Top of the Food Chain, T. Coraghessan Boyle speaks of a village called Borneo and how it was infected by millions of mosquitoes. The townspeople sprayed all sorts of poisonous chemicals but nothing seemed to work: "We might as well be spraying channel #5 for as good as it did. One day, the people in the village found a solution: To bring in as many geckos as possible and they would eat the mosquitoes. As a result, the geckos began to...