New York University Criticism A Modest Proposal

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New York University


This is more than 200 years ago, when Irish satirist Jonathan swift wrote an essay called a modest proposal, in which he suggested that Ireland's poor sell their first year of life to the rich.

The suggestion to eat babies is absurd in itself, and the point is that swift describes the program in a rather serious tone, almost a scientific research approach to the subject.

The absurdity of the proposal and the serious tone in which the proposal was presented caused a sharp conflict, thus forming a fierce irony.

In fact, the irony of this article is so strong that you should be able to understand it as long as you read it. Swift chose with Irish Catholics.

On the one hand, it's a stereotype of Irish thievery.

On the one hand it attacked the Catholic prejudice against pagans.

He exposed the arrogant superiority of the English people to the Irish and Americans.

However, he chose Modest as the title, which serves as a casual and seemingly Modest foil to the absurdity of many mainstream social views at that time.

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Level Four English: Final Project Spring Create a piece of insightful criticism It may be academic criticism of a work or art (feminist, pschoanalytic, etc) or popular criticism (film, food, etc). Your criticism may be presented in any of the following formats: • • • • • Essay Critical Analysis Research Paper (MLA or APA) Video Podcast Blog All criticism projects should come with a one page statement that explains your work. OR Create an artifact Your artifact must embody (show/have characteristics of), interpret (give an understanding of), or analyze (think about critically by looking at different parts) one of the following works (readings or videos), concepts, themes, or genres we have studied this year. You may choose anything we studied in either semester, however you must choose a different format or topic than you did last semester (the same project cannot be done twice). Artifacts have a wide range of possibilities, including (but not limited to) short films, music videos, short stories, poetry, multimedia art, visual narratives, podcasts, digital art, graphic novels, etc. For this term, I will ask you to create something that you can send by email or wechat, so some of the interesting artifacts you made by hand last semester will not be able to qualify this time. Artifacts should come with a one page artist's statement. • • • • • • Written work should be 1200-1700 words in length. Videos should be 3-5 minutes in length (though they may be longer). Podcasts should be 10-15 minutes in length. Blogs should have multiple posts (totaling 1200-1700 words). Creative writing may have a lower word count (500-1000 words for fiction; 300-500 words for poetry) but exceptions can be made if the writing is shorter but of impressive quality. With creative writing, it will be judged critically according to its quality. For other artifacts that are art/visual narratives/graphic novels/etc talk to me about your idea and I will set fair guidelines for that topic (number of images/words/etc). List of works, themes, concepts studied this year Literature, poetry, essays, and readings To My One Love (Chimamandi Ngozi Adichie), Just Walk By (Brent Staples), Joyas Voladoras (Brian Doyle), Carry (Linda Hogan), The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka), A Modest Proposal (selections) (Johnathan Swift), The Onion articles, The Allegory of the Cave (Plato), Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), Criticism (PDF), Man Bites Prawn (Jonathan Gold) Films & videos What We Do in the Shadows Children of Men The Metamorphosis Lady Blue Shanghai Nathan for You The Dangers of a Single Story Ted Talk (Adichie) Augustine (music video) by Blood Orange Songs Let Down (Radiohead) The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel) Augustine (Blood Orange) Genres, Themes & Concepts Creative Nonfiction Personal Narrative Dystopia Mockumentary Alienation Absurdity Surrealism Personal Identity Racial Discrimination Satire Allegory Dystopian Future Criticism (academic & popular) Visual Analysis New Yorker (magazine covers) Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side (cartoons) Augustine (music video) You may work in small groups (maximum 4 people), pairs, or individually. If you create your artifact by yourself you will have 10 points extra credit added to the final project grade. Final Project Grading Rubric Artifact: 75 points (creativity, complexity, content); Artist's statement 25 points (aim, process) Creativity (25 points max) 22-25: shows very impressive creativity and originality; exceptional artistic quality and true mastery of form. 19-21: shows strong creativity and originality; artistic quality is good; mastery of form is good but not great 16-18: shows some creativity and originality but not consistently; artistic quality is average; form is obvious but not mastered well. 13-15: very little creativity and originality exists; artistic quality extremely low; form may not be obvious or not mastered in even an average way. 0-12: no creativity or originality; no artistic quality; form unrecognizable or not remotely close to being mastered in any way. Complexity (25 points) 22-25: complexity is clear and unmistakable; detail is rich and varied; thoughtfulness and insight is exceptional. 19-21: complexity is mostly clear; detail is strong and somewhat varied; fairly strong thought and insight. 16-18: complexity is somewhat clear but inconsistent; detail exists but is not sustained; thoughtfulness and insight are mostly average. 13-15: complexity exists but only minimally; detail is very low; thoughtfulness and insight are rarely seen. 0-12: little to no complexity at all; little to no detail; not thoughtful or insightful in any way. Content (25 points max) 22-25: exceptional understanding of topic is seen in the work; extremely strong and clear relationship to class content. 19-21: strong understanding of topic evident in work; mostly strong and clear relationship to class content. 16-18: some understanding of topic evident in work; some relationship to class content is seen. 13-15: very low understanding of topic is evident in work; very little relationship to class content is seen. 0-12: little to no understanding of topic; little to no relationship to class content. Artist’s Statement (25 points) Aim (10 points max) 10: communication is flawless; goal is perfectly clear, and well-stated; 8-9: communicates aim of project extremely well; goal is very clear and well-stated; 6-7: communicates aim in an average way; goal lacks clarity but is understandable. 0-5: little to no communication of aim; not understandable. Process (15 points max) 14-15: creative/artistic techniques well explained; creative process extremely clear; group contributions are very well expressed. 12-13: creative/artistic techniques are fairly well explained; creative process is mostly clear; group contributions are fairly well expressed. 10-11: creative/artistic techniques are satisfactorily expressed; creative process is explained but not very clearly; group contributions are expressed in an average way. 0-9: creative/artistic techniques hardly expressed or not expressed; insight into creative process is almost or completely non-existent; group contributions are barely communicated or are not expressed. Create a piece of insightful criticism It may be academic criticism of a work or art (feminist, pschoanalytic, etc) or popular criticism (film, food, etc). Your criticism may be presented in any of the following formats: · Essay
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Surname 1
A Modest Proposal Criticism
Jonathan Swift wrote this essay about 200 years ago. This was at a time when Ireland
was a British colony. As was common in those days, colonies would face exploitation, and
Ireland's situation was no different. This literary work served as an expose of the arrogant
superiority that the English people demonstrated to the citizens of Ireland and America at that
time. The essay takes on a satirical approach where Swift suggests that Ireland's citizens should
sell their first year of life to the rich people (Swift n.p). Another absurd suggestion from the
essay was that people should begin eating their babies. This was the result of an era where
having an extra baby was a grievance instead of a joyous moment. Therefore, the suggestion was
worthwhile at that time. Swift managed to package this satirical approach of the essay in a severe
tone, which makes the use of irony a success. This is just a brief introduction to bring us to speed
up the major elements of the essay. The rest of this assignment offers a critical commentary to all
the aspects of a modest proposal.
First, it is essential to look at the title's use of the word modest. As earlier mentioned,
these were not great times for the people of Ireland. The exploitation of the citizens was the order
of the day. There were high levels of poverty and unemployment such that people went hungry
and cloth less. The numbers of uneducated children were also soaring high. This only meant that
the natives of Ireland had reached rock bottom, and they could only go up. The way up implies
that they had to worry about their future and fined rescue methods from the grievances. How

Surname 2
then could such a society be modest? The use of the word small in the title was to create a
satirical feel. It s...

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