Docstoc

Introduction to Satire and “A Modest Proposal”

Document Sample
Introduction to Satire and “A Modest Proposal” Powered By Docstoc
					Jonathan Swift and Ireland
in the Eighteenth Century
           Jonathan Swift:
• He was born in Ireland to an English family
• Gradually, however, Swift became more and
  more concerned with the obvious inequality
  in English policies toward Ireland…
• In 1729, he published “A Modest Proposal”
  as a pamphlet
Ireland in the 18th Century:
     Ireland in the 18th Century:
• Not an independent country
  at the time
• At this time and for many
  years afterward, Ireland was
  far poorer than England
• Most people born there were
  Roman Catholics and
  employed as agricultural
  labourers or tenant farmers---
  generalities
• The land was owned from
  outside. For example, in
  1750, 93% of the land was
  owned by non-Irish
  landowners
Ireland in the 18th Century:
              • The landlords were paid from
                the produce of the land at rates
                which the workers could rarely
                afford. The ruling class were
                usually Protestantsmany of
                them were not born in Ireland
                and did not live there
                permanently
              • There was no social security
                system and starvation was
                common
“A Modest Proposal”
For Example:
An Introduction to Satire
           Satire
Satire is a something that targets
a human weakness by (1) exposing it
to view, (2) ridiculing it, and (3)
making the reader/viewer think
differently about it. See, for
example, Swift’s “A Modest
Proposal”
  Targets: Vice or Folly

The target of a piece of satire---
what it is exposing and ridiculing-
--can be either a vice or a folly.
You decide which it is.

Vice – when the target of the
satire is something serious and
morally wrong.

Folly – when the target of the
satire is something foolish.
          For Example:




In your opinion, is the target of
  this satire a vice or a folly?
          For Example:




In your opinion, is the target of
  this satire a vice or a folly?
          For Example:




In your opinion, is the target of
  this satire a vice or a folly?
     Satire       (cont’d)


Satire depends upon a shared sense
of community standards, so that what
is oppositional or contrary is
recognized as the target.
          Satire (cont’d)




What or who is the target of this book cover?
Approaches of Satire


 The two approaches of satire are
 named after two Roman authors from
 around 2000 years ago, Horace and
 Juvenal. The two approaches are
 called horatian and juvenalian.


                                        A costume you could
                                      purchase for Halloween
   Horace and Horatian
Horace’s satire and the horatian
style named after it tend to be of
the gentle, general, and good-
natured variety.

For example, here is an excerpt
from “Satire II, vi:”

“Once upon a time, a country mouse welcomed his
old pal, a city mouse, to his sparse hole. It
wasn't much. He kept a rustic larder, but he
would open it wide to guests. How wide? He'd
give away the last chickpea or long oat he'd
stored up, and tote in his teeth a raisin or
bacon scrap to prickle his urban friend's
refined palate…”
Later…

“The city mouse installs
his pal on the plush covers and scurries
about like a deft waiter, serving course
after course and tasting each one first just
like a proper slave. The country mouse
knows how to play the pampered guest
and settles in to enjoy his changed lot.
Suddenly the doors bang open and the mice
tumble from their couches. Fear speeds the pair
the whole length of the room and the house
begins to vibrate with the harsh barking
of tremendous hounds. Then the country
mouse says, 'I don't need any of this, and so
good-bye to it. I long for my safe woods
and bare hole, and a small meal of vetch.”

How can this satire be seen as gentle and
good-natured?
Juvenal and Juvenalian
Juvenal’s satire and the juvenalian
style named after it tend to be of
the sharper, more bitter, and
nastier variety.

For example, here is an excerpt
from “Satire III”

“It is no easy matter, anywhere, for a man to
rise when poverty stands in the way of his
merits: but nowhere is the effort harder than
in Rome, where you must pay a big rent for a
wretched lodging, a big sum to fill the bellies
of your slaves, and buy a frugal dinner for
yourself…”
Later…

“…In Rome, every one dresses smartly, above his
means, and sometimes something more than what
is enough is taken out of another man's pocket.
This failing is universal here: we all live in
a state of pretentious poverty. To put it
shortly, nothing can be had in Rome for
nothing.”

How can this satire be seen as more bitter
than Horace’s?
           For Example:




In your opinion, is the approach of
this satire Horatian or Juvenalian?
           For Example:




In your opinion, is the approach of
this satire Horatian or Juvenalian?
           For Example:




In your opinion, is the approach of
this satire Horatian or Juvenalian?
   Other Satire
   Terminology:
Direct Satire: the satire
is directly stated.




            vs.



Indirect Satire: the satire
is communicated through
characters in a
situation.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:10/24/2012
language:English
pages:24