Sunday, June 25, 2006

Module 5: Assignment 3

Define satire and demonstrate Swift’s use of it.

Literary satire is the use of irony and sarcasm to highlight common flaws. Swift uses satire in “The Lady’s Dressing Room” to show that on the outside some women, or people in general, look beautiful and you envy them. But if you get a glimpse into their real life, you see the beauty is a façade for a dark, ugly life. In this poem, Strephon sees the grotesque and disgusting life Celia actually lives. It is ironic that beautiful women are considered foul creatures by Strephon after seeing Celia’s room.

My take on the Response by Lady Montagu

Lady Montagu obviously did not like Swift. She refers to him as old and impotent. I think she wrote this poem to show that women are clean, beautiful, and must keep up certain appearances to be appealing to men. Because Swift was hurt by women at some point in his life, Lady Montagu believes it is easier for him to depict women as ugly, filthy creatures to make himself feel better.

What is the purpose of A Modest Proposal?

The purpose of A Modest Proposal is, on the surface, an idea to solve Ireland’s problems (too many people, not enough work or food). But really Swift presents an absolutely ridiculous ideas to eat one-year olds to highlight the ridiculousness of how England handles Ireland. Swift wanted to show that England’s policies placed Ireland in its current dire status.


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