Satire is a literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked. Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is a satire in which he attacks the ridiculousness of common proposals made to governments. In his proposal details, diction, and parody are used to enhance this satire.
First, details are used to evoke the readers" disgust in order to alert them to the purpose of the satire. An example of how details would do this is when he first describes how children could make good dishes saying, "A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day." These details of how children attracts the readers" attention to the outrageousness of what Swift is saying. He then goes on to talk about when the markets will have "Infant's flesh" saying that "a year after Lent, the markets will be more glutted than usual and therefore it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of Papists among us." Speaking of religion as a means to increase the wealth of a nation through cannibalism is so repulsive that it makes the reader interested in what Swift has to say. Finally, Swift also proposes that "Those who are more thrifty may flay the carcass; the skin of which artificially dressed will make admiral gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen." The idea of wearing children's carcasses as fine clothing would turn of so many people that it actually makes the reader ask him or herself if Swift is being serious. Believability is in the details and through Swifts extensive use of details, he actually makes this proposal seem modest but at the same time completely satirical.
Second, diction is used to make the proposal seem more logical and reasonable by talking of children as less than human. An example of how Swift uses this diction is when he says, "twenty thousand may be reserved for breed.