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The Techniques of the Satirist

             Ever felt critical of yourself or fellow human beings after reading something, If so it was most likely a satire. A satire is a piece of literature that uses outrageous exaggerations, understatements, warped logic, improbable situations, and ridiculous names to ridicule human weakness, vice, or folly in order to bring about social reform, thus undermining their opponents beliefs by showing the opposing views as absurd, vicious, or inhumane. Jonathan Swift's " A Modest Proposal" and Miguel de Cervantes' "Don Quixote" are examples of satires written with literary irony and parody. "A Modest Proposal" is an outrageous proposal to solve the extreme famine and human misery inflicted on the Irish by English society. "Don Quixote" is a novel that pokes fun at every aspect of the medieval romance and its heroic knights. .
             ".although I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs." (433). A quote from Swift's "A Modest Proposal" referring to his proposal to reduce the people of Ireland to nothing more than livestock; to sale, breed, eat and skin. This particular piece of literature is an example of verbal irony stretched to its limits, with outrageous proposals to induce some awareness of the plight exempted on the Irish by the English lords. Throughout the pamphlet Swift emphasizes his use of derogatory lingo reserved for the lowest animals when referring to human beings, because essentially that is what the English had done to them by disregarding the quality of life of the Irish. The people of Ireland were consumed by famine, taxes and misery and swifts purpose was to expose this to the English society, who was blinded by their greed. As a counterpart of their greed Swift included this passage: ".I grant this food (referring to human infants) will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for (English) landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.

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