I need to find 3 examples of irony/sarcasm, 2 metaphors and 1 parallelism in "A Modest Proposal".

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Concerning Swift's "A Modest Proposal," I'll help you understand the essay a little better and help you with the sarcasm or irony, and let you find the rest or let other editors help you.

The first irony used is in the title itself.  The speaker's proposal is anything but modest.  Opposition, or opposites, is the essence of irony, and the title is the opposite of the truth.  The proposal is outrageous, not modest.

When the speaker says that he hopes his proposal "...will not be liable to the least objection," he is again being ironic.  The objections to his proposal will be endless.

Later, when he says that the landlords might as well eat their renters' children, because they've already devoured the renters themselves anyway, he is being sarcastic.  By the way, he's also speaking metaphorically, if you want to use that for metaphor.

Basically, Swift had tried conventional means in an attempt to help the Irish poor, but to no avail.  This essay is an attempt to shame the English and wealthy Irish into changing policies that were detrimental to the Irish.

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A Modest Proposal

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