Many Uses Of Humour in "A Modest Proposal"

Essay by avrilwackinsUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2006

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Satire is an element of comedy often used by authors in the form of verse or prose that denotes and ridicules highly debatable issues of society. This is seen throughout Jonathon Swift's "A Modest Proposal", which talks about the complexity of Ireland's economical, political and social issues, as well as Wayne Grady's The Metric System, which highlights the way Canadians have combined both the metric and imperial systems to better suit their moods.

Authors use dark humor as a way of shedding light upon serious matters. Jonathon Swift attacks the Irish government by dehumanizing the people. He discusses the economical issues by elaborating on the undernourished children born to poverty stricken families should be sold to rich landowners to cut back on the unemployment rate. He does so, by satirizing the fact that there are the children would make great meals and taste great cooked several different ways.

He proposes the fact that after a year of being breast fed children are then ready to be passed on to the markets to be bought by the rich, to serve as food. This proves the hypocrisy of the wealthy as well as the true motivations and values of the Irish people. Swift believes that the Irish are incompetent and feels as though they can not fend for themselves and it is not only the people, but the masses as well that provides the Country with a false sense of identity. By using humor, Swift's audience becomes attentive and well aware of the aggravation felt throughout the essay.

The Canadian culture seems to be overruled by the American way of life a little more each day. Throughout Wayne Grady's The Metric System, he degrades the convergence of combining both the metric and imperial systems. He uses subtle humor to...