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I have to write a speech on A Modest Proposal. 'As a modern day satirist you have been...

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lazaa | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:09 AM via web

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I have to write a speech on A Modest Proposal. 'As a modern day satirist you have been invited to deliver a speech at a conference at which you defend A Modest Proposal as a text of value for our time. In your speech you will discuss the value of A Modest Proposal within its own context and in our contemporary context. Your speech will address Swift's satirical message and Swift's satirical method. You may refer briefly to other modern satirical texts by way of comparison.

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cindycamp58 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:30 PM (Answer #1)

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First, you want to identify "A Modest Proposal" as an example of a Juvenalian satire--harsh and critical. Swift believed that satire should hold up a mirror to society, but he also realized that those elements of society that should recognize themselves in satire's mirror, rarely do. Swift was satirizing the British and Irish landowners who viewed the Irish people as less than human. 

One element of current U.S. society that begs for satire is immigration. Compare the treatment of immigrant workers to those of the Irish citizens. Do some research to add ethos to your satire. Decide who your audience is and then go forth and use invective, Juvenalian satire. 

Another possible topic would be gay marriage. Good luck.


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