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"I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragoust."
-Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal
Swift makes use of bland understatement to advance his "proposal"; the organized cannibalism of poor children.
"Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require) may flea the carcass; the skin of which, artificially dressed, will make admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen."
Dr. Swift rapidly takes his proposal to its logical extreme in order to thoroughly lampoon callous attitudes towards the poor. His uses of both exaggeration and understatement make "A Modest Proposal" arguably one of the most sarcastic works of the 18th century, if not all time.
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Jul 16th, 2015
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