Bell Ringer 3/14. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism. Wit can be used as a weapon.
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A Modest Proposal
1. Instead of working, the poor mothers are forced to beg.
2. The excess children should sell themselves to Barbados as slaves.
3. It costs two shillings to feed a child for ten solar years.
A shilling is a former British coin.
4. Women do not keep illegitimate children because it is expensive even though the women are proud of their fertility.
5. There is simply not enough work (handicraft, agriculture, house building, land culturing) in Ireland to employ everyone.
6. The eating of infants will help the poverty and starvation in Ireland.
7. The babies will be sold at the age of three solar years.
8. Most infants will be ready for sale right about now…in March… or nine months after Lent.
9. Sweater and coats can be made with dyed carcasses.
10. Older children taste better than younger children.
11. The bodies of executed criminals are eaten as a prime dainty in Formosa.
12. The older, poorer members will benefit because baby meat is very healthy and will prolong their lives.
13. This proposal will decrease the Papists (Catholic) population in Ireland.
14. This proposal will give the poor something of value to own.
15. The nation’s stock and wealth will plummet with the population decline.
16. The breeders will only need to take care of the children until sold at the age of one year.
17. This proposal increase the custom of taverns because of the new food.
18. The selling of children will ruin marriage, endanger infants, and increase domestic violence.
19. The only objection will be the kingdom of Ireland’s increase of the population.
20. Jonathon Swift proposes this because he had several children to sell.
Row 1(Door): Identify a real issue in Ireland addressed by the pamphlet.
Row 2: Describe the tone of the pamphlet. Describe how it was written.
Row 3: Explain the significance of eating a baby vs. an adult.
Row 4: Rate the effectiveness of the piece 1-5 (high) and explain why.
Row 5 (Window): Identify a modern social issue that needs a “modest” proposal.