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Comparing Literary Works Satire

Comparing Literary Works Satire

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Published by kknighton
Understanding persuasive appeals and satire
Understanding persuasive appeals and satire

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Published by: kknighton on Apr 30, 2010
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11/24/2012

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Name:_____________________________Date:_________________Class Period:____Understanding Satire12
th
Lit/comp
Literary Focus: Verbal Irony
 You use verbal irony whenever you say one thing but mean something completelydifferent. When you speak, your tone of voice signals listeners that you dont reallymean what you are saying. Writers dont have the option of using a sarcastic tone of voice to convey irony. Instead, they might make so many shocking or unbelievablestatements that the reader cant possibly miss the point. For the following quotationstaken from either A Modest Proposal or from Who Needs Books, explain the verbalirony by telling what the speaker/writer
appears
to be saying and what the
reality
is.Some things are already filled in for you to help you get started.
 Appears to be Saying: What the Reality is: A Modest Proposal
The title: A Modest ProposalThe speaker remarks uponthe Irish childrens trainingin the art of thievery. (p.432)
He makes it seems as thoughthe Irish parents are proud of their thieving children and that they want their children trained to bethieves.Most people want their children to grow up and get good jobs; people aren·t usually trained to steal asa profession. These remarksmock the stereotype that the Irish are dishonest.
 
 I shall now thereforehumbly propose my ownthoughts, which I hope willnot be liable to the least objection. (p. 432) I grant that this food willbe somewhat dear, andtherefore very proper forthe landlords, who, as theyhave already devoured most of the parents, seem tohave the best title to thechildren. (dear meansexpensive and devouredmeans made poor bycharging high rents) (p.433) But this, and many others Iomit being studious of 
He says that he doesn·t want 
 
Name:_____________________________Date:_________________Class Period:____
brevity. (p. 436)
to list any other advantages because he wants to be brief.
The speaker summarizes hissix advantages of hisproposal. He claims that society as a whole,including Protestants,landlords, tavern owners,and the poor themselves,would benefit. (p. 435)
It seems that this is a win-win situation for everyone.
 
The speaker claims that hesdoing this for the good of Ireland. (p. 437)
 Who Needs Books?
 
 For a long time, I havebeen saying that actuallyreading books is overrated.
He doesn·t think reading books is overrated.
 . . . he has ruthlesslyweeded out outdated worksby such long-dead,irrelevant authors as Virgil, Aristotle, William Faulkner,Ernest Hemingway, andmany others. . . Books that bored me totears when I was young andforced to read them inschool are finally gettingtheir just desserts.
Boring books are gettingwhat they deserve.
 . . . it has taken a great deal of effort to catch up onall of the good television Imissed by watching rerunsat Nick at Nite . . . at least Iam able to keep up withreferences to ThreesCompany and Good Timeswhen they come up inconversation. I think if people did that today, it would free up evenmore shelf space for thingslike video games, whichactually promote the skillskids will need to fight thewars of the 21
st 
century.
 
Name:_____________________________Date:_________________Class Period:____
 Send the library an emailor email the library board . .. and thank them for theirforesight.
Send them an e-mail and tell them that they aremorons.
 A Modest Proposal is a type of persuasive writing called
satire
. Through satire,writers ridicule people or institutions in order to effect change. A Modest Proposalwas written in 1729 to shock English society into an awareness of Englands unjust policies toward the Irish. In it, Swift uses the types of 
persuasive techniques
listedbelow to convince the reader that Englands treatment of the Irish is heartless andimmoral.
y
 
Logical appeals
: the use of facts or statistics to support a position
y
 
Em
otional appeals
: the use of words that stir up strong feelings
y
 
E
thical appeals
: the use of details that will convince readers that the writer isfair and trustworthy; describing himself favorably and claiming to possess virtuesthatconsidering the nature of his proposalhe could not possibly haveIdentify the type of persuasive appeal used in each of the following quotations from thetexts. Some words are in bold to help you decide which appeal is being used.
TYP
E
OF APP
E
 AL:
 A MOD
E
ST PROPOSAL
 
 As to
m
y own part, having turned
m
y thoughts
, for manyyears, upon this important subject, and maturely weighed theseveral schemes of other projectors. . . (p. 431)
ethical
 There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it willprevent [women from
]
sacrificing the poor innocent babes
. (p.432) . . . which would move tears and pity in the most 
savage
and
inhu
m
an
breast. (p. 432)
emotional
O
n page 432, Swift uses
m
athe
m
atical
language to describe thenumber of births, miscarriages, and deaths. I shall now therefore
hu
m
bly
propose
m
y own thoughts
. . . (p.432) . . . therefore one male will be sufficient 
to serve
four females. (p.432)
(equating people to ani
m
als)
 
O
n page 433, Swift discusses
how
m
uch it would cost
to nurse abeggars child,
how
m
uch
the child will cost, and
how
m
uch
profit the mother would make. . . . I rather recommend buying the children alive, and
dressing
 them
hot fro
m
the knife
, as we do roasting pigs. (p. 433) Thirdly, whereas the maintenance of an
hundred thousand
 children, from two years old, and upwards, cannot be computed at less than ten shillings apiece per annum, the nations stock will bethereby
increased fifty thousand pounds per annu
m
, besidesthe profit of a new dish. . . (p. 435)
logical

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