Thursday, April 5, 2012
Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal is a great piece of satire and in an article that I came across in my previous post I learned that it is a quintessential Juvenalian satire. Which can be defined as "any bitter and/or ironic criticism of contemporary persons or institutions that is filled with personal invective, angry moral indignation, and pessimism." This piece of work revealed an often overlooked dimension of British colonialism regarding the Irish through savage and ridiculous measures. "A bitter attack, Swift’s morbid tale delineates an immoral and perverse solution to Ireland’s economical woes using bizarre yet brilliantly clear logic and a detached tone in order to attack indifference to the poor. Swift’s satirical tone, relying on realism and harshness to carry its message, is much more acerbic than his counterpart, perfectly displaying Juvenalian satire’s ability to shock and ridicule." (Szwec)
Reading this article helped me realize that both Pope and Swift used their literary talents and advantages to express contemporary society (back in the day) and ultimately forcing them to acknowledge the shortcomings of that certain time period.
Szwec, Jonathan. "Satire in 18th Century British Society: Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock and Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal". Student Pulse. 2011. 2 April 2012.
"Juvenalian Satire."Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. 2012. Web. 5 April 2012.