A Modest Proposal Questions and Answers
by Jonathan Swift

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Is Swift's use of irony effective or does it risk being taken seriously by those who might be outraged by his idea in "A Modest Proposal"?

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This certainly is the big danger of such devastating works of satire. Unfortunately, this pamphlet was taken at face value by many during the time of its publication and Swift was indeed accused of barbarism and savagery beyond the imaginings of most people. For me, teaching this essay each year to my AP English Literature students, I normally get one student who...

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